Mark Kavenagh receives one of the first-ever rapid tests at PRONTO! by healthcare worker Craig Burgess in August 2013.
Victoria’s first community-based rapid HIV test clinic, PRONTO! has celebrated completing its 1000th test since opening just nine months ago.
PRONTO! is a collaboration between Burnet Institute and the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC). Located in Fitzroy, it provides a quick HIV test with a simple pin-prick blood test with results back in 15 minutes.
Burnet’s Head of HIV Research, Associate Professor Mark Stoové said feedback from PRONTO! clients has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The community-based location and the involvement of community peers in testing has created a unique setting for men to not only test for HIV but to also reflect on how to reduce their HIV risk more generally,” Associate Professor Stoové said.
“Providing free and convenient HIV testing at PRONTO! with results given on the spot makes it much easier for people to get tested regularly and makes the clinic an important part of the HIV-prevention landscape in Victoria.”
Associate Professor Stoové added that rapid testing technologies allow HIV testing to occur almost anywhere and plans are underway for PRONTO! to deliver rapid HIV testing into gay community social venues, which will expand the reach of HIV testing in Victoria.
VAC CEO Simon Ruth said it was important new technologies were integrated into the response for HIV and AIDS.
“The VAC has promoted the service through mobile device applications. This has allowed the program to engage a broader cross section of the target community than through traditional advertising measures,” Mr Ruth said.
CLICK HERE for more information or to make an appointment at PRONTO!