Charity marks National HIV Testing Week with launch of Glasgow’s first rapid HIV testing service
Thursday 22 November 2012
On Monday 26th November, HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland is to launch Glasgow’s first rapid HIV testing service at the charity’s centre on Douglas Street.
The free and confidential service, which is called Fastest, is being launched during the charity’s National HIV Testing Week, which aims to raise awareness of HIV and encourage people to test more regularly. The centre on Douglas Street will provide an alternative testing environment for people who may be put off by hospitals and traditional sexual health clinics. Anyone is welcome to attend and take the test.
Testing is done using a finger-prick blood test, with the results provided within fifteen minutes. Those who attend the clinic will be given information and support before and after the test, and anyone who tests positive will be referred immediately to a specialist clinic. Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland staff will also provide free condoms, and information and advice on safer sex.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of people living with HIV in Scotland. In 2010, there were over 5,000 people with the condition in the country, of whom a quarter were undiagnosed.
Robert McKay, National Director at Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, said: “With advances in HIV treatment, there are now far more reasons to know your HIV status than there are not to. We’re delighted to be launching our first Fastest service in Glasgow, and hope we can encourage more people to come forward for testing and reduce undiagnosed HIV locally. If you haven’t had a test in a while, or you’re worried you may have put yourself at risk, please come along and take advantage of our fast and friendly service.”
From Monday 26th – Thursday 29th November, during National HIV Testing Week, the Fastest service will be open from 10.00am – 6.30pm on an appointment or drop-in basis. The address is 134, Douglas Street, Glasgow G2 4HF. For further information, or to make an appointment, please call (0141) 332 3838, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Tuesday 8th January, the service will be open for appointments every Tuesday through Thursday from 10.00am – 4.00pm. There will also be a separate drop-in service, with no appointment necessary, on Tuesday evenings from 6.00pm – 8.00pm.
In addition to the ‘Fastest’ service, Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland has a number of events and activities planned in Glasgow this World AIDS Day:
Community Gathering – Tackling HIV Together
Saturday 1st December; starts 4.30pm
St Mary’s Cathedral, Great Western Road, Glasgow
In partnership with Waverley Care, Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland invites people of every faith or none to attend this free event to reflect on the epidemic and remember those who have died with AIDS. There will be music, film, speakers, and refreshments.
World AIDS Day Gathering
Saturday 1st December; starts 7.30pm
Strathclyde Police Headquarters, 173 Pitt Street, Glasgow
This secular gathering on the theme of living with HIV will include speakers, entertainment, and refreshments. The event has been organised in partnership with Gay Men’s Health, HIV-AIDS Carers & Family Service, and Strathclyde Police.
People can also organise their own red themed event or sell red ribbons to raise funds to support people living with HIV. Visit www.tht.org.uk/worldaidsday for more information and fundraising ideas, to order your free box of red ribbons or to make a donation online.