NSW Health is encouraging people to get tested during
HIV Testing Week to help reach the goal of ending HIV transmission across the State by 2020.
HIV testing is now fast and easy with a variety of free and confidential services, including the NSW dried blood spot (DBS) self-testing service that can be completed from the comfort of your own home.
In 2017-18, the NSW Ministry of Health is investing $22.4 million in services to strengthen HIV testing, treatment and prevention across the State.
HIV Testing Week runs from 1-7 June.
Sexual Health & HIV Clinical Nurse Consultant from Western NSW Local Health District, Kim Grant said it's important people get tested so they know their HIV status.
“Knowing your HIV status is a good thing. It means people with HIV can start treatment earlier which not only has better health outcomes, but can also help prevent it being passed on to others," Kim said.
“We are making good progress towards ending HIV transmission in NSW by 2020.
“Last year alone there was a 19 per cent reduction in the number of men who have sex with men diagnosed with HIV, compared to the average of the past six years."
“The fall in HIV notifications in this category shows that more testing, high treatment, condom use, and the addition of the new HIV prevention treatment PrEP, are very effective."
However, Kim said there is still work to do.
“In 2017, 67 people were diagnosed with HIV through heterosexual sex. This a 29 per cent rise compared to the previous six year average", she said.
“Last year, one in five people diagnosed with HIV in NSW acquired their infection through heterosexual sex".
NSW Health is committed to dramatically driving down the number of new infections by increasing testing, treatment and safe sex practices.
Who should get tested for HIV?
HIV Testing Week (1-7 June) NSW Health is encouraging heterosexual people, particularly those who've never been tested before, to get a HIV test. This includes people:
- Who've had sex when traveling in a country where HIV is common;
- Had sex with someone from a country where HIV is common;
- Who come from a country where HIV is common;
- Who've used injecting equipment after someone else; and
- NSW Health continues to encourage men who have sex with men to get tested.
Where to get tested?
People can get tested at their local GP, health service or sexual health clinic.
People can also use the new Dried Blood Spot testing service – a free, easy, private and accurate way to test for HIV and hepatitis C at home. To order a test go to: www.hivtest.health.nsw.gov.au
To find out where to go to get tested go to NSW Sexual Health Infolink or call 1800 451 624.
“Prevention is still essential and condoms are considered the best way to prevent HIV and STIs."
For more information about prevention, including PrEP go to: www.health.nsw.gov.au/endinghiv