If you’ve never been tested for HIV or haven’t had a test for more than a year, Jo Lenton Clinical Nurse Consultant Broken Hill Sexual Health, is encouraging people at risk to get tested.
Ms Lenton said this HIV Awareness Week (23rd – 30th November) in the lead up to World AIDS Day (1st December), is a good opportunity to take a test.
“HIV testing is simple and confidential. There are now a variety of HIV tests available including free tests,” Ms Lenton said.
“You can get tested with your local GP or sexual health service. Or, if you want to test yourself at home, the Dried Blood Spot testing kit can be delivered to you and results are sent back by text, email or phone.
“People at risk of HIV, particularly men who have sex with men, can now use a combination of prevention methods to reduce their risk including taking HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and using condoms, which are available for free. ” PREP services are available by accessing your local sexual health clinic.
It’s also important for people whom are sexually active overseas travellers, people whom share injecting equipment, people from a country with high HIV prevalence to get tested or if concerned discuss with your GP or Clinic 9 Broken Hill staff.
In support of World Aids Day 2019 and to raise awareness Clinic 9 Broken Hill is working in partnership with the local LGBTIQ Rainbow events group, ACON and the Broken Hill Musicians Club in bringing the community a spectacular Trivia and Drag show.
The show will be held on the Friday 29 November 2019 at the Musicians Club with doors open at 6.30pm and quiz starting at 7.30pm. There are great prizes with lots of laughter with up for grabs in $1000 in cash or prizes. Come along and support this great event and fundraiser for World Aids Day.
NSW has made significant progress towards the goal of virtually eliminating HIV transmission by 2020, with a 13 per cent drop in the number of new diagnoses in NSW between January to September 2019 compared to the previous five year average.
NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant said this reduction is due to more people seeking early testing and treatment and taking steps to prevent HIV transmission including the use of PrEP.
“A late HIV diagnosis can be life-threatening and increases the chances of passing on HIV to sexual partners. Early diagnosis means you can receive treatment, live a long, healthy life and prevent transmission to others.”
Between January to September 2019, 159 men who had sex with men were diagnosed with HIV in NSW. Of these men, 45 per cent had not had a test in the past 12 months and 18 per cent had never had an HIV test.
“With almost 40 per cent of these men diagnosed with HIV in the late stage of infection, we are urging those at risk to get a test,” Dr Chant said.
The NSW Government has committed $22.4 million in 2019-20 to strengthen testing, treatment and prevention with 47 state-funded Sexual Health Clinics also making testing easily accessible.
Confidential testing is available with your local GP or Clinic 9 Broken Hill Community Centre 2-4 Sulphide Street or phone 08 8080 1100 and ask to speak to one of the nurses.