There's Free HIV Testing In These Places In Dublin Over The Next Few Days
A really important issue at the moment.
Know Now, a service providing rapid HIV testing, has set up shop in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. It's a community volunteer provided service, enabling people to get the skinny on their HIV status.
A truly important service, we caught up with Manager Adam Shanley about the whole business.
We got funding for the project as part of the first National Sexual Health Strategy launched back in October 2015. We aim to make HIV testing much more available for the community of men having sex with men.
We understand there are a number of barriers in place based around why people wouldn't want to be tested, including plenty of guys who would never really want to cross the threshold of a clinic - whether they don't identify as gay or bisexual - but it's all about making a choice.
The project has worked well internationally and they've seen a very positive reaction to the project in Ireland.
Adam went on to say:
Initially there were worries about whether testing in bars was a good idea, but the things we wanted to alleviate was that HIV shouldn't be this thing that massively feared - and the concept of testing should be changed. That you're taking care of yourself rather than anything else.
One of the most important elements of the project is that it is peer led - having gay and bisexual men performing the tests allows for the guys to have open conversations with each other about their sexual health which is really positive.
It's been running for the past 8 - 9 months, and the majority of clients they've had in their ranks have never been tested before. This means that the project has come across quite a lot of undiagnosed HIV in the community that would have remained undiagnosed.
For times and venues, see the poster below.