Matt Dixon (VAC/GMHC), Jackie Fristacky (City of Yarra), David Anderson, Clem Newton-Brown, David Davis and Mark Stoove launch PRONTO!
Australia’s first shop front rapid HIV testing clinic, PRONTO!, is open for business after being officially launched today by Victorian Minister for Health, the Hon. David Davis.
PRONTO! is a collaboration between Burnet Institute and the Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre (VAC/GMHC). It provides a quick HIV test with a simple pin prick blood test with results back in 20 minutes.
Burnet’s Head of HIV Research Dr Mark Stoové said this service would reduce a range of barriers to frequent HIV testing among gay men in Melbourne.
“This clinic provides a wonderful example of how government, researchers and community can work in partnership to deliver innovative public health and disease prevention initiatives,” Dr Stoové said.
“Accessible and convenient rapid HIV testing through a community-based service such as this will help reduce the number of gay men with undiagnosed HIV.
“We hope this will be an enduring part of the HIV prevention landscape in Victoria.”
Mr Davis congratulated everyone involved in making PRONTO! a reality saying the clinic will provide an alternative option to test for HIV, making it easier for people to test without fear or judgement.
“This site is an important step in our HIV prevention strategy. If we are to reduce incidence of infection in Victoria we need to get more gay men testing – and testing more frequently,” Mr Davis said.
Melbourne’s Mark Kavenagh was one of the first Victorians to take a rapid HIV test at the new site.
“Being able to easily get tested for HIV, and get the results quickly is going to make a big different to Melbourne’s gay and bisexual community,” Mr Kavenagh said.
“This clinic is such a positive step in trying to reduce HIV transmission at the community level.”
CLICK HERE to make an appointment at PRONTO!
PRONTO!’s Craig Burgess performing a rapid HIV test on Mark Kavenagh.