GAY NEWS NETWORK
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The NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner launched Australia’s first permanent peer-run rapid testing centre on Oxford Street today.
The opening of the new testing centre also served as the launch of the next phase in ACON’s Ending HIV campaign.
The treat early campaign explains how HIV treatment can help prevent HIV transmission. Developed in consultation with researchers and clinicians, the new campaign promotes the health benefits of the latest HIV medicines as well as their capacity to reduce the amount of HIV in a person’s body to an undetectable level, significantly reducing the likelihood of the virus being transmitted.
Minister Skinner says making HIV testing easier as well as encouraging people with HIV to consider the benefits of starting treatment are priorities of the NSW Government’s HIV Strategy 2012-2015.
"ACON’s new Treat Early education campaign coupled with this new free testing facility are great examples of the innovative approach that we’re taking in relation to ending HIV transmission in NSW by 2020,” Minister Skinner says.
“During NSW’s annual celebration of LGBTI communities and culture – Mardi Gras – I encourage gay men to commit to helping us reach this goal by testing more regularly, either at the new a[TEST] Oxford St service, other rapid testing centres around NSW, or their local sexual health clinic or GP. I also encourage gay men with HIV to speak with their doctor about starting treatment.
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