finger prick for rapid HIV test

Victoria first to offer rapid HIV testing

Great new in Australia with Victoria being the first state to offer rapid HIV testing. By far the biggest advantage is results being in just 20 minutes.  As reported in The Age:

VICTORIA will become the first state to offer rapid HIV testing – where results are known almost immediately – under a Baillieu government push to reduce infection rates.

With state figures showing about 265 new HIV cases are identified every year, Health Minister David Davis will on Sunday announce plans for Australia’s first community-based trial to get more people tested and treated sooner. Under the pilot, a walk-in testing service will be set up over the next two years – most likely in Melbourne’s inner north or inner south-east – providing results within 20 minutes.

This is a significant improvement from the current system, where people can be forced to wait weeks to learn whether they have been infected.

It is hoped with the testing being able to be done so quickly it will encourage people to have HIV testing.

For many people the wait of one week can be very stressful. By reducing the time for results it’s hope that the 20-30% of people unknowingly infected by HIV will be able to access HIV treatments sooner after diagnosis.

It has not been clarified if GP’s will be able to offer the testing. I would hope with training this test will be able to be offered in a variety of settings.

Have you ever had rapid HIV testing?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Yours in good health.

Dr George

Image courtesy of theage.com.au

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