Brisbane’s Stonewall Medical Centre has officially launched their new FAST sexual health testing.
Stonewall has served the local LGBTIQ community for 25 years. The team now offer weekly Fast Access Sexual Testing (FAST) clinics for HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and Hepatitis A, B and C.
The doctors running the program, Dr Hemming Lu and Dr James Allen, have seen 84 patients over 13 clinics since the program began in December.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles officially opened the FAST program at Stonewall on Thursday.
Stonewall owner Wendell Rosevear (pictured, far left) told QNews.com.au accessibility of STI testing is crucial. He said faster screening means earlier treatment, leading to earlier resolution with fewer complications.
“We’re part of a big cooperative team in Brisbane, adding to the work of the Rapid testing points, Gladstone Road Medical Centre, and others,” he said.
“Accessibility is the key issue. HIV rates in Australia are dropping. That’s fantastic but there are pockets where they’re not.
“Sex workers, gay and heterosexual men who don’t know they have HIV, migrants and others need a safe place to test.
“We want everyone to feel valued and feel safe to get tested regularly at Stonewall.”
The FAST program operates on Thursday nights from 5pm to 9pm. Stonewall is then usually able to return results within days.
The consultations are entirely bulk billed for Medicare cardholders. The service also offers sex workers government-approved Sexual Health Check Certificates of Attendance.
Visit the Stonewall Medical Centre website to find out more.
Queensland Health Minister thanks Stonewall staff
At the launch on Thursday, Health Minister Steven Miles thanked Stonewall staff for their work.
“It’s important we deliver healthcare as close to people as possible,” Miles said.
“That’s even more important when it comes to sexually transmitted infections and vulnerable cohorts of the population.
“We’re seeing outbreaks of STIs in different parts of the state and it’s a priority for us to address those.
“We couldn’t do it without the help of our primary healthcare providers, GPs and nurses.
“We’re doing all we can to bolster in-community services to ease the load on hospitals, particularly with the arrival of the novel coronavirus.”
History of Stonewall Medical Centre
Stonewall Medical Centre has proudly served Brisbane’s LGBTIQ community since 1995. The centre is located at 52 Newmarket Road in Windsor in Brisbane’s inner north.
There is discreet onsite parking and also nearby bus and train services.
In 1989, Dr David Orth and Dr Wendell Rosevear co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Health Service. The Service was in part a response to government inaction over the AIDS crisis.
“In those days it was illegal to be gay. Because of that we had to invent coded anonymous testing for people,” Dr Rosevear said.
Following decriminalisation in 1991, Dr Orth and Dr Rosevear established Brisbane’s first openly LGBTIQ GP clinic, Gladstone Road Medical Centre.
Then to meet demand from the newly-visible LGBTIQ community, Dr Rosevear established Stonewall Medical Centre in 1995.
“Creating a safe place where you can be yourself, feel valued and be honest is the recipe we use,” he said.
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