New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) is set to promote its National HIV Testing Month in May 2015. This is a focussed effort over the entire month to encourage Kiwis to test for HIV & STIS, and to raise awareness of risk factors. Testing can be a daunting thought for many and which is why a supportive environment is key in making a decision to test.
“We know from our 30 years of working the community that the encouragement of family, friends and whanau is critical in ensuring that people test and feel supported which can be hard if cultures are less comfortable talking about sex,” says Shaun Robinson, Executive Director, NZAF.
“In a NZ population that is changing significantly, there is a need to ensure that everyone is well informed and equipped to keep themselves healthy, including their sexual health. HIV and AIDS have fallen off many kiwis’ radar, but everyone has level of risk. Gay and bisexual men are still the most at-risk group but there is a trend of increased risk for many new migrant communities from Asia and Africa. Maori and Pacific people also have lower rates of HIV testing than the general population. ”
Alongside consistent condom use, HIV testing is a cornerstone of HIV prevention because individuals testing positive can be linked to treatment which improves their wellbeing and reduces their chance of passing HIV onto others.
Testing is free and easy; a single prick is all it takes. NZAF provide a rapid testing service for HIV with results confirmed in just twenty minutes.
To book a free rapid HIV Test visit www.nzaf.org.nz or call 0800 802 437