New rapid HIV testing program for Brisbane
Queensland Positive People (QPP) have announced a number of new initiatives that will make it even easier for people to regularly test for HIV.
For people living or working near the Valley, QPP is now partnering with The Den (187 Brunswick Street, Valley) and will be offering a free rapid HIV testing service from 11am-2pm every Monday from June 2, 2014.
As an alternative to the Den on Mondays, QPP will soon begin testing for HIV at their East Brisbane office five days a week.
For those who don’t live in Brisbane or close to a sexual health clinic around the State, a postal HIV test kit can be ordered direct from the QPP website.
Rapid HIV testing at The Den will be a walk-in service every Monday from 26 May. The test will be conducted by peer educators employed by QPP and will take place in the coffee lounge, which will be accessible from within The Den cruise club, or from a side entrance on the corner of Brunswick Street and Barry Parade.
Testing at The Den will use the same rapid HIV test used at sexual health clinics, which have been available to all Queenslanders since June last year. All a rapid HIV test requires is a small drop of blood taken from the fingertip and it will provide a result in only 20 mins.
Research shows a large number of HIV transmissions occur amongst people who do not know their HIV status and unknowingly transmit the virus to others. The only reason someone may be living with HIV and not know it is because they are not testing regularly. QPP are keen to greatly increase access to testing services for all Queenslanders, and making free testing services available in accessible locations.
The postal HIV test kits mentioned above will be targeted to people living in rural and remote areas of Queensland. This home testing kit will use a test that differs to the one at The Den, requiring the subject to collect a specimen of saliva by placing a swab in their mouth for two minutes. The swab is then returned in the post and tested in a lab – the results will therefore not be instant but will be delivered by phone within two weeks.
For more information on testing services offered by QPP, or to order a postal HIV test kit, go to www.qpp.net.au/testing, or call them on 1800 636 241.