Around 10 per cent of HIV positive people may be unaware they are infected, a statistic NSW Health is looking to change.
From 1st June - 7th June, NSW Health is staging HIV Testing Week and encouraging at risk people to have a HIV test. Getting a HIV test is easier and faster than ever before. In Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) people can have a HIV test at their GP or their local sexual health clinic.
NSW’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant said that achieving high levels of HIV testing and treatment and maintaining safe sex practices are key to ending HIV. Around 10,500 people in NSW are living with diagnosed HIV infection.
“Increasing HIV testing rates is vital because HIV is generally transmitted by people who don’t know they have it,” Dr Chant said.
“However, many people have not been tested recently, do not know they are HIV positive, and are possibly transmitting HIV to others”.
Brett Dubois, Health District Sexual Health Clinical Nurse Consultant, said we need to keep HIV testing on people’s minds and help make conversations about sexual health safe sex and HIV prevention as part of the norm.
“In 2014, HIV testing in NSW increased overall and amongst high risk groups,” he said.
“In 2015 people who may be at risk of HIV and who should be tested include anyone who has unprotected sex whilst travelling overseas, gay men and men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and people from countries where there are high rates of HIV infection.
“During HIV Testing week we are encouraging people to check their HIV status. In the Western NSW LHD, easier HIV testing is available at Dubbo and Orange Sexual Health Clinics through extended opening hours promoted through a partnership social media campaign with Orange and Dubbo Sexual Health, Rainbow Alliance, WAGALS and Headspace”.
Further information about HIV testing venues and testing times is available from Orange Sexual Health Clinic @ 1800 816 925 and Dubbo Sexual Health Clinic @1800 851 700.
Media enquiries & further information:
Orange (Southern Sector): Roisin Dyer Tel (02) 6392 8600
Dubbo (Northern Sector): Margaret Crowley Tel (02) 6841 2489
Population Health WNSW LHD: Brett Dubois Tel (02) 6330 5935
For more information on HIV testing, treatment and prevention go to http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/endinghivor call 1800 451 624