This HIV Testing Week (1-7 June) is calling for people to know their HIV status despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Aimed at helping people find out their HIV status, the campaign urges people including those from diverse cultural backgrounds, to get tested for HIV.
HIV testing is a vital first step to tackling HIV, according to Barbara Luisi, Director of the Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub at Sydney Local Health District.
“HIV testing can put people in control of their HIV status. Where a test is positive, effective treatments mean people can live a long, healthy life and are less likely to pass on the virus. Regardless of the test result, testing also helps make people HIV aware, giving them the facts and confidence to prevent new infections, and ultimately putting an end to HIV,” said Ms Luisi.HIV Testing Week is promoting awareness of a HIV home testing kit called, Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Test, which allows people to order a free self-sampling kit online, take their sample in the privacy of their 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. Testing kits can be ordered from http://www.hivtest.health.nsw.gov.au which also has information in a range of languages including plain English.
The DBS test results are kept private and confidential.
The Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service is supporting the campaign by undertaking an ethnic media campaign to promote DBS HIV home testing across eight languages.