ACON, said to be NSW’s leading HIV prevention organisation, has launched a new, free HIV testing service that will support gay men and men who have sex with men (cis and trans) test for HIV from the comfort of their own home.
A convenient and contactless way to test for HIV, you[TEST] will allow men to virtually connect with a trained peer who will talk them through two different home testing options – the HIV self-testing kit or the Dried Blood Spot collection kit.
The appropriate kit will then be mailed out so men can do the test for HIV themselves. This service also offers the option of a follow-up chat by phone or video call to provide further information and referral support if required.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says you[TEST] is all about providing men with a new option to get a HIV test during COVID-19.
“We know our communities are engaged when it comes to looking after their sexual health,” he says.
“But disruptions brought on by COVID-19 have made it difficult to get tested for HIV.
“With pressure on frontline health workers, we understand that some local sexual health services have been disrupted – there are reports that some are putting off accessing regular health checks at this time.
“you[TEST] allows men to continue their HIV testing touring and know their HIV status without having to visit a clinic.”
Importantly Mr Parkhill underscores that you[TEST] also provides “added support from a trained peer” throughout the testing process, and “links to follow up care” across NSW if required.
According to Mr Parkhill, while you[TEST helps men “prioritise testing for HIV”, he points out that ACON continues to also recommend that people still “visit their GP or local sexual health clinic when possible for a comprehensive sexual health screen, complete with STI testing”.
“With ongoing testing, and the used of evidence-based HIV prevention strategies such as condoms, PrEP and undetectable viral load, our communities will continue to drive down new HIV transmissions in NSW,” he says.
The new service is available free with no Medicare required, to all gay men and men who have sex with men (cis and trans) living in NSW.
For more information about you[TEST], visit: endinghiv.org.au/youtest.
Feature image by: ACON Media and Communications