The New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) has set up an outreach clinic to provide rapid testing services and counselling on K’Road.
FASTesting for HIV, syphilis and hep C will be provided to anyone who thinks they may have been exposed. All tests are free, confidential, administered by professionals and will provide results in just 20 minutes. The tests do not require a blood sample but instead use a single drop of blood taken from a fingertip.
Shaun Robinson, NZAF executive director, says, “Rainbow Youth asked us to consider an outreach clinic for testing and counselling on K’Road and we found a space in TRANX, a community-based alcohol and drug treatment service. This clinic gives us an opportunity to provide a service focussed on young people and people who use drugs – both groups of people that research shows are less likely to use condoms and therefore need to be testing for HIV, syphilis and hep C.”
Robinson says the K’Road outreach clinic, the South Auckland outreach clinic and the HIV and the sexual health testing carried out at this year’s Get it On! Big Gay Out are part of a strategic push to increase testing. “The NZAF Burnett Centre in St Mary’s Bay has the capacity to cope with a high volume of appointments and that will always be our base. But the outreach clinics are adaptable and very mobile so we can work right in the heart of many different events and communities easily and economically.”
For people whose test results are positive, the news is not all bad, Robinson says. “Syphilis is completely curable and these days, there is very effective treatment for HIV and hep C too. But you can’t be treated until you’ve been tested.”
The NZAF Testing Clinic will be held every Tuesday, 9.30-1.30pm at TRANX, 2nd floor, La Gonda Building, 203 Karangahape Road, Auckland 1010. To book a test, go to www.fastest.co.nz