The Gay Men’s Health Service have just launched a new STI check on Mondays with rapid HIV testing at their clinic in Baggot St
The Gay Men’s Health Service (GMHS) have just launched a new Monday clinic from 2-4pm which offers a Rapid HIV test as well as regular STI tests for those with no symptoms.
The rapid HIV test will allow results to be given while you wait for the other STI tests to be completed.
The free service launched on Monday 12th of September for men who have sex with men (MSM), and will be run on a drop in basis meaning that appointments are not required to attend.
No More Waiting
The rapid HIV test will reduce the amount of time that men who attend will have to wait to find out their HIV status.
Historically, these blood tests have taken days or weeks to return results, whereas the rapid HIV test provides results on the same day within about 20 minutes.
The rapid HIV test involves a fingertip prick, and a drop of blood being applied to the test kit.
If there is a ‘reactive’ result, a blood sample is taken and sent to the laboratory for a confirmatory test.
Ireland’s first free rapid HIV testing service was launched by GLEN in Limerick and Cork earlier this year and was followed by a similar testing service made available in Dublin’s Pantibar in April.
The inclusion of a free rapid HIV test at their Baggot St. clinic is a response from the GMHS to a rise in HIV diagnoses in Ireland amongst MSM.
Thanks to advances in science, being diagnosed with HIV is no longer a death sentence.
If it is detected early and given proper treatment, those with HIV can have a long life expectancy. Rory O’Neill said being diagnosed with HIV “is no longer the death sentence my generation of gay men thought it was back in the 1980s and 1990s.”
Nor does being diagnosed with HIV preclude someone from having unprotected sex.
A recent study indicated that there is minimal risk of contracting HIV from unprotected sex with an HIV positive partner who is on anti-retroviral treatment and whose viral load is undetectable.
Although PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) has yet to become available through the HSE, studies indicate that taking PrEP (a once-a-day pill) can effectively reduce the risk of contracting HIV.
(Image: By DubhEire – Own work, CC0)