A free, easy and private way to test for HIV

HIV is a treatable condition.  The first step to living a health life with HIV is to get tested. Most people who are living with HIV may not be aware that they have had the condition for many years.  The only way to find out, is by having a test.

Could it be HIV? Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with an HIV-positive partner; had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test; have you injected drugs and shared needles with others; exchanged sex for drugs or money; been diagnosed with or sought treatment for other sexually transmissible infection(s); been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis(TB)or had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?  Are you a man who has had sex with another man? If you are pregnant, then talk to your health care provider about getting tested for HIV and other ways to protect you and your child from getting HIV. Before having sex for the first time with a new partner, you and your partner should talk about your sexual and drug-use history, disclose your HIV status, and consider getting tested for HIV and learning the results.

The Dried Blood Spot (DBS) HIV test is for people who may be at risk of HIV, but who find it difficult to have a HIV test at a health service. DBS HIV testing is for people living in New South Wales (NSW), who are over 16 years old. The DBS HIV test is a free, easy and private way to test for HIV.

How does it work? You order the DBS HIV test online and it arrives by post. To order a kit visit here.The  test works by placing small drops of blood from your finger onto a test card.  You then send the test card back in a reply paid envelope. Your blood will be tested and a nurse will give you your HIV result in about a week. Click here to watch a 6 minute video on how to do the test.

Your Results will usually be ready in a week.  A nurse from Sexual Health Infolink will contact you with your results.  You can choose how you would like to receive your results, either by SMS, email or phone.  If your result shows that you may have HIV infection, the nurse will help you to find a clinic to visit.

How do I know its confidential?  The information collected for the DBS HIV test is protected and confidential. Your information and personal details will only be available to health care workers directly involved in your care.

For more information visit.

First Step Program Bus Tour

Registrations are now open for the First Step Program Bus Tour, Thursday 20th June from 10.00am till 2.00pm.

First Step Program intend to continually improve the way they relate to other services and increase staff knowledge around the issues of Drugs and Alcohol, trusting that this opportunity will address gaps in networking and referrals between services. The bus tour gives participants an on the ground view of the current situation around drug use and Blood Borne Infection(BBI) transmissions. It provides an opportunity to dispel myths and “get the real story” on such a hidden, sensitive, and not often talked about area.

Itinerary:

09.45am       Meeting at First Step Program, Port Kembla Hospital, Fairfax Road, Warrawong.

10.00am          Depart for Hill 60, Port Kembla

10.45am          Warilla Community Health Centre

11.15am          The Wollongong Hospital Automatic Dispensing Machine 

11.45am          Rawson Street Centre, Wollongong site visit

12.15pm          Darcy House, Port Kembla site visit

12.45pm          Darcy House for lunch

Cost is $15.00 which goes to Darcy House for providing lunch. Click here to register or Google ‘Sticky Tickets June FSP Bus Tour ’. Places are limited and book out fast.

What other people are saying about the tour:

‘I wouldn’t change anything about the tour except make it longer!’ ‘The entire concept is great’  ‘An amazing way to challenge your personal views and opinions’ ‘When’s the next one?

First Step Program is a free and confidential blood borne virus prevention service In the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area. The service provides clean injecting equipment, free condoms as well as support and referrals in all matters of health and welfare including detox and rehabilitation.  First Step Program provide outreach services and education on HIV,

Hepatitis A, B and C and waste management of used syringes to individuals and groups.

A collaborative initiative between First Step Program HARP, & Healthy Cities Illawarra

Aboriginal Consultative Committee – Expression of Interest

Their Futures Matter (TFM) are seeking expressions of interest from Aboriginal people residing in NSW, representing their local Aboriginal community, Aboriginal service providers, organisations, and senior Aboriginal NSW Government employees, to form an Aboriginal Consultative Committee.

Click here for more information.