26 November 2013

RACGP promotes regular HIV testing at launch of Australia’s first Pop Up testing site in Sydney

Chair of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) NSW&ACT Faculty, Dr Guan Yeo, today represented the RACGP at the launch event of Australia’s first ever Pop Up site for rapid HIV testing in Taylor Square, Sydney.

The rapid testing Pop Up site, a partnership between the NSW Ministry of Health, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, the Sydney Sexual Health Centre, ACON and SydPath, aims to promote the importance of HIV testing for at-risk members of the community, including men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and people who work in the sex industry.

Dr Yeo said general practitioners (GPs) play a vital role in HIV detection with GPs diagnosing more than 50% of newly notified HIV cases in NSW.

“Whilst the rapid testing Pop Up site provides a temporary testing site for at risk groups, the RACGP strongly encourages conventional HIV testing for these groups as well as the general public, which should be arranged with their nominated GP.

“GPs should be mindful of patient HIV risk following appropriate sexual history enquiry and be aware that if patients request a HIV test, they are likely to have sexual health concerns they have difficulty discussing,” said Dr Yeo.

The RACGP strongly believes that the key to combatting HIV transmission is through regular testing, with the most important benefits being early diagnosis and treatment.

“Antiretroviral medications not only improve the health and wellbeing of patients with HIV, but also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others,” said Dr Yeo.

The RACGP is a strong supporter of this important health initiative and continues to strive to increase awareness, breakdown stigma, normalise testing and generate greater interest and discussion about HIV.

The Pop Up testing site will be available to the public on 27–29 November from 4 pm to 7 pm and on Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December from 1 pm to 6 pm. The site will be manned by experts from South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and peer educators from ACON.

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