A new rapid HIV testing centre has opened on the Gold Coast this week with the aim of providing a free, safe and confidential service for anyone who wants to get tested and know their status.
RAPID Gold Coast will operate 2 days per week from the QuIHN building in Burleigh Heads – Tuesdays & Wednesday 2:00pm – 7:00pm.
The ‘Rapid’ service is a community based, peer led HIV testing service using the rapid 20 minute HIV tests. The service is free of charge, although people are requested to bring their Medicare cards. Foreign students and other people ineligible for a Medicare card are also welcome to use the service at no cost.
Unlike traditional HIV testing, the new rapid tests requires only a quick finger prick and a small drop of blood (similar to a diabetes check). When people walk into the clinic, they fill out a simple registration form and then come into the clinic room where the test itself takes 20 minutes.
According to the most recent data, the Gold Coast accounts for roughly 11% of new HIV diagnosis in Queensland, a figure which RAPID manager Jime Lemoire (pictured) believes can be greatly reduced through greater testing.
“I would say we are at a crossroad in the history of HIV: with advancement in treatment as prevention, we have the opportunity to improve the health of PLHIV and dramatically reduce the number of new notifications in the community,” Mr Lemoire told QNews.
“Everyone who is sexually active should get tested frequently because an early diagnosis improves your health outcomes, and each individual test contributes to the movement that will virtually eliminate the sexual transmission of HIV in Queensland.”
RAPID Gold Coast is located at 12/89-99 West Burleigh Rd, Burleigh Heads. Opening Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm For more information, please visit rapid.org.au or call 07 3013 5566.