HIV testing is free, easy, fast and confidential
It involves only a simple blood test. A consultation fee is charged at non-bulk billing GPs.To make you feel comfortable there are many places you can go to get a HIV test:
- Family Planning Clinics
- Aboriginal Medical Services
- Sexual health clinics
- Community-based rapid HIV testing sites
- Have a Dried Blood Spot (DBS) HIV test sent to your home
The DBS HIV Test is a new testing option available in NSW to people at risk of HIV. This includes men who have had sex with men; people from countries where HIV is more common (Africa or Asia); or people who have sexual partners from these regions. For more information and to see if you are eligible go to hivtest.health.nsw.gov.au
For confidential information on where to get a HIV test call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.
Who should get tested?
Many people are surprised to learn that heterosexual people can also get HIV. There are about 10,000 people in NSW living with diagnosed HIV, and one in six people diagnosed with HIV get it through heterosexual sex. In Australia, most HIV infections are in men who have sex with men, but HIV can also be passed on during sex without condoms between men and women. People can also get HIV through sharing needles when injecting drugs, but this is less common in Australia.
So why is HIV testing so important? Many people don’t know they have HIV, which means they are not getting the health benefits of being on HIV treatment. Not knowing about HIV could also mean you pass it on to others.
Just ask your doctor or nurse for a HIV test. Being diagnosed with HIV enables early treatment, which helps people stay well and live long and healthy lives.
By testing more, starting treatment early and staying safe, together we can end HIV transmission.