We bring HIV and Hep C testing to Newtown Neighbourhood Centre
In the lead-up to HIV Testing Week, our population health experts teamed up with Newtown Neighbourhood Centre for a HIV and hepatitis C testing blitz.
The Centre's "One-stop shop" is a weekly two-hour drop-in where members of the community can access a range of services including health, housing and social support.
Our HIV and Related Programs (HARP) Unit, Drug Health Services and Gastro and Liver Clinic collaborated to offer free dried blood spot (DBS) testing.
The DBS test is a free, easy, private and accurate way to test for HIV and hepatitis C. It involves a few drops of blood collected from a finger prick. Results come back by phone, text or email.
Everyone who came to the testing blitz was also offered a free flu vaccination and a turn using the smokealyser, to help open up conversations about smoking cessation and healthy lungs.
HIV and Hepatitis C testing is important: across Australia about 1,000 people are diagnosed with HIV each year, and an estimate 200,000 people are living with Hepatitis C but do not know it. Testing means those living with HIV or Hepatitis C can start treatment, improve their health and prevent transmission.
Anyone who is sexually active should get tested for HIV at least once a year, with more regular testing recommend for people who have recently changed partners or who have multiple sexual partners.
People who have had a tattoo or piercing, injected drugs or steroids or who has ever spent time in prison are recommended to get tested for Hepatitis C.
For more information about HIV, visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/endinghiv. For more information about Hepatitis, visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/hepatitis