It’s been a long, tough road for many, but there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel!
As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in NSW start to ease for those who are double vaccinated, you may be excited to rejoin the world to flirt, squirt, suck and f*ck. But before getting back out there to have fun, getting a full sexual health screen that involves testing for HIV and STIs should be your first point of call.
Restart your testing routine
If you haven’t had sex for a while, even if it’s been since Mardi Gras (a long distant memory, right?), now is definitely a good time to test. It’s recommended that sexually active gay, bisexual and other guys who have sex with guys, test for HIV and STIs every 3 months. So, get back into a good routine of testing now.
HIV and STI testing is still available during COVID-19
While HIV and STI testing has remained available and continues to be, some testing sites may have undergone some changes to their operations and opening hours. It’s a good idea to call ahead as there may be disruptions.
Bear in mind, the healthcare system has and still is under some pressure, so be considerate of the service you use and be prepared if they can’t book you in as soon as you’d hoped.
If you want to get an HIV test and STI screen and are currently displaying no symptoms of an infection (asymptomatic) there are several options at your disposal.
Your local Doctor or General Practitioner
Many local doctors and general practitioners (GPs) are still offering their usual services, which can include testing for HIV and STIs. If you haven’t tested with your doctor before, this could be an opportunity to build a relationship with them.
If you do not have Medicare, just be aware that there may be a fee for your visit. If you call ahead first, you can ask about any costs involved before booking.
You may find that some GPs have now moved to a telehealth model, which means you do not have to attend in-person, but instead will just have to visit a pathology service to do the tests. Look online or call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624 for a practice near you.
you[TEST] – a service to help you test for HIV at home
you[TEST] is a HIV testing service that’s convenient, free and can be done from the comfort of your home. You connect with a trained peer via virtual appointment who explain the testing options, before getting sent one of two testing kits that allow you to do the test yourself. Learn more about you[TEST] here.
a[TEST] Oxford Street (Sydney)
The a[TEST] Oxford Street site in Darlinghurst, Sydney remains open for business. a[TEST] is a fast, free and confidential rapid HIV and STI testing, with no Medicare required. If you’re in the area, book an appointment.
Find a testing site
No matter where you reside in NSW, you can find a testing location near you using our Where To Test tool.
Stay safe. Stay updated. Stay homo.