Free HIV home test to increase HIV testing

People at higher-risk of HIV across NSW can now order a free home testing kit online. The HIV home testing kit called Dried Blood Spot HIV Test, or DBS for short, allows you to order a self-sampling kit online, take your own sample in the privacy of your own home and send it to a laboratory for testing. You do not need to go to a clinic or doctor to do this test. Making testing easier gives more people the chance to get early treatment for HIV and to live a long and healthy life.

Visit http://www.hivtest.health.nsw.gov.au for information in plain English and other languages and to find out if you are eligible to order your free test. HIV figures show an estimated 27,150 people in Australia are living with HIV in 2016, with around 3,350 (12%) unaware and at risk of unknowingly passing on the virus to others.

MHAHS Manager, Barbara Luisi, said great strides had been made in HIV treatment, but until HIV is a thing of the past, there is more to do.
``We hope the launch of this home testing kit will encourage people at risk to find out their HIV status, so they can get the best care for themselves and their partners,’’ Ms Luisi said.
``We hope it will encourage men who have sex with men or people from countries where HIV is common to seriously consider testing especially as they can now order a home testing kit free online’’

Increased HIV testing greatly benefits the entire community, as the benefits extend far beyond the individual person or family. Testing could also lead to early treatment which has wide public health benefits in reducing the risk of passing the virus on to other people. HIV testing is a crucial part of prevention.