Test now: it’s your ticket to ride

We’re back in the saddle, baby!

We’re back to brunch and doing the things we love. We’re back to the gym and back to him.

But before you jump back on that bucking bull and “roll in the hay”, get tested for HIV and STIs, especially if it’s been a while or you’ve never tested before.

So, polish your pistol, cowboy, and test now. It’s your ticket to ride. Giddyap!

What HIV and STI tests should I do?

Whether it’s your first rodeo or not, a comprehensive sexual health screen for guys who have sex with guys includes:

  • Blood test for HIV and syphilis
  • Mouth swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • Bum swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea
  • Urine sample for chlamydia

Your doctor or nurse will usually inform you of these tests, but if you are visiting a new testing location, it can be good to go in knowing what you are looking for! Learn more about HIV testing here.

When should I get tested?

Riding more than a float this Mardi Gras? Now is a great time to get tested! But whether you’ll be riding to Mardi Gras or not, for all guys who have sex with guys it’s currently recommended to get tested once every three months. This will help pick up any STIs that might be asymptomatic and slip under the radar.

Where can I get tested?

There are several ways you can get your ticket to ride.

You can get HIV and STI testing done at your sexual health clinic. Some services may have modified their operating hours and service offerings due to COVID-19 so plan ahead. Find a place to get tested using our where to test tool here.

If you can’t get into a sexual health clinic, you can also test with your local doctor/GP. Make sure they do a full comprehensive screen (blood test, mouth swab, bum swab and urine sample) so you have all bases covered.

To test for HIV at home, you can get a free test sent to you through either the you[TEST] service or by ordering a DBS (Dried Blood Spot) kit. HIV self-tests have recently been made available for purchase from pharmacies across Australia in-store and online. It’s still early days, so only a limited number of pharmacies stock them, but more is on the horizon!

At-home HIV testing is currently not recommended for those on PrEP seeking to do their routine check-up. If this is you, it’s recommended to keep your regular testing with your existing PrEP provider.

Ride hard, ride safe!

You’ve tested? Yee-haw! You’ve now got your ticket to a great time. And no matter how rough the ride is, always remember to do it safely using PrEP, undetectable, condoms or a combination.