10 C
Byron Shire
April 24, 2021

Would you like a sausage with your HIV test?

Latest News

Tweed Council to write to government for more housing support

With a shortage of affordable housing in most areas of the Far North Coast, it is not surprising that Tweed is also feeling the pinch and Council has declared a housing emergency in the area owing to a lack of availability and affordability.

Other News

Exciting lineup for 2021 Bangalow Music Festival

Southern Cross Soloists (SXS) yesterday unveiled a stellar Bangalow Music Festival program for August 2021. The theme for the 19th festival is 'music’s inexhaustible joie de vivre'.

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

An insult, Poppa

From what I can understand, Poppa Veet Mayo’s letter seems to imply that this latest COVID scare is a...

Remembering Peter Warner

Ballina's legendary man of the sea Peter Warner died doing what he loved best, sailing, during an attempted crossing of the Ballina Bar in rough conditions last week. He was ninety years old.

Holiday lets

David Wallace, Suffolk Park The following query was recently sent to NSW Planning Minister Mr Rob Stokes: On Friday, 9 April, 2021,...

Lismore Sexual Health Service has come up with a novel way to encourage people to take their HIV tests: offer them a free sausage.

In collaboration with ACON Northern Rivers it will be hosting a BBQ and rapid HIV testing on Saturday (June 6) at Lismore Sexual Health Service in the lead-up to the Tropical Fruits Dance party that night.

Gay and homosexually active men are especially encouraged to take part in the ‘pop-up’ testing opportunity as around 10 per cent of HIV positive people in NSW may be unaware they are infected.

And despite the air of frivolity, it is  one of the rare occasions to be able to take a rapid HIV test on the northern rivers, after a trial program of rapid testing finished at the end of last year.

‘Rapid’ testing delivers results within half an hour, as opposed to waiting up to two weeks for a regular HIV test result.

Jenny Heslop, Manager of North Coast HIV & Related Programs said ‘We need to keep HIV testing on the agenda and not become complacent. It is equally important for regional communities to remain focussed and not think HIV is only a matter for larger cities and metropolitan areas’.

‘We know there are around 10,500 people in living in NSW who have been diagnosed with HIV infection,’ Ms Heslop said.

‘Increasing testing rates is vital because HIV is generally transmitted by people who don’t know they have been exposed to HIV and haven’t recently been tested. During HIV Testing Week, we are encouraging people to check their HIV status by attending a local Sexual Health Clinic or GP,’ Ms Heslop explained.

NSW chief medical officer, Dr Chant, said most infections reported in 2014 were in gay and homosexually-active men (79 per cent) with heterosexual cases accounting for 14 per cent.

In 2014, HIV testing has increased both overall in NSW and among high-risk groups but more needs to be done’.

As well as gay men, heterosexual people who may be at risk of HIV should be tested. This includes people from countries, where there are high rates of HIV infection and anyone who has unprotected sex while travelling in any of these countries. Anyone who has had unprotected sex with a high risk person should also be tested.

‘Achieving high levels of testing, treatment, and maintaining safe sex practices are the key if we are to achieve our ambitious target of ending HIV,’ Dr Chant said.

The rapid HIV test and BBQ is at Lismore Sexual Health Service (formerly SHAIDS) is at 4 Shepherd Lane, Lismore from from 1pm to 5pm. Phone (02) 6620 2980 for more information.

HIV testing is available daily (Monday to Friday) without booking but please not rapid HIV testing will only be available at the pop-up clinic next Saturday.

For more information on HIV testing, treatment and prevention call 1800 451 624 or go to http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/endinghiv

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Simon Richardson steps down as Byron Shire Mayor

In an eventful day for Byron Shire Council, pot-stirrer Fast Buck$ was ejected from the council chambers yesterday and later Cr Simon Richardson announced that he will be stepping down as mayor from the end of next week.

Pay parking for Lennox Head?

Yesterday's Ballina Shire Council meeting saw councillors raise the spectre of paid parking at Lennox Head, and possibly elsewhere in the shire.

They will not be forgotten…

In the wake of the pandemic restrictions, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in a COVID safe fashion and some areas will ask residents to...

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.