Projects

PRONTO! Rapid HIV point-of-care testing in Victoria

PRONTO! Community-Based Rapid HIV Testing Services – In collaboration with the Victorian AIDS Council and the Victorian Government, the HIV Prevention group led the establishment of Australia’s first shop-front, community-based and peer-led HIV testing service for gay men as part of a two-year trial.

The Victorian AIDS Council has since established the PRONTO! service as an integral part of Victoria’s community and clinical HIV prevention and care landscape. Burnet Institute continues to monitor testing at PRONTO! and evaluate service outcomes.

Find out more at PRONTO!

The two-year trial in Melbourne

Changes to Australia’s HIV Testing Policy, alongside support from national and jurisdictional training and regulatory bodies, facilitated new opportunities for community-based rapid HIV testing.

The Victorian Department of Health provided funding to Burnet Institute and the Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre to establish a two-year trial in Melbourne of a peer-led community-based rapid HIV testing service for gay and men who have sex with men, as a part of Victoria’s response to reducing the incidence of HIV and STI transmission.

The testing service provided rapid HIV testing in community-based setting using a nurse and peer-led model. Clients are seen by a test facilitator; a trained professional who identifies as gay and therefore as a peer, who will be responsible for providing pre- and post-test counselling, testing and referral to other health services.

Test facilitators were trained through an accredited pre/post-test counselling course, through rapid testing device training administered by National Serology Reference Laboratory, and through the Rapid HIV testing training curriculum developed by the Australian Society for HIV Medicine.

Clients receive their rapid HIV test result during that appointment in approximately 10-20mins.

The service opened in August 2013 and the trial ran for 24 months - for information visits the clinic website:

Timeline

August 2013 - August 2015

Collaborators

Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre Victorian Department of Health

With support from the National Serology Reference Laboratory

Funding

Victorian Department of Health

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Associate Professor Mark A Stoové

Head of Public Health Discipline

Telephone

+61385062301

Email

mark.stoove@burnet.edu.au