Acon encourages testing as part of Ending HIV initiative

Health promotion organisation Acon is promoting HIV testing in an online video aimed at encouraging gay men to get tested in order to help end transmission of the virus within six years.

The video features members from the creative, health, research and LGBTI communities, including Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham, Sydney-based designer Vince Frost, Sydney-based HIV expert Professor Andrew Grulich, founder of The Institute of Many Nic Holas, founder of SameSame Tim Duggan and Acon CEO Nic Parkhill.

It is part of Acon’s Ending HIV initiative and invites everyone at risk of HIV, in particular gay men who the organisation says still drive around 80 per cent of new infections each year in NSW, to get tested.

Parkhill said: “We estimate that up to 30% of HIV cases in NSW are undiagnosed and it’s these people, who are unaware of their status, who we particularly want to work with.

“Once people know their status, they can take action to improve their health outcomes and prevent passing on the virus. And the only way they can know their status is to get tested regularly, at least twice a year.

“We won’t be able to achieve the goal of ending the HIV epidemic in NSW by the end of the decade unless we significantly increase testing rates among gay men – it’s that simple.”

In addition to the video, Acon and the South East Sydney Local Health District have launched a temporary HIV rapid testing shop-front on Oxford Street to operate throughout the Sydney Mardis Gras season.

Rapid testing is a simple process that is operated by men from the LGBTI community and delivers results within 30 minutes.


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