Test a diverse range of patients for HIV
During HIV Testing Week (1-7 June), NSW Health encourages health professionals to offer testing to a diverse range of patients at risk of HIV. This includes testing anyone who asks for an HIV test regardless of their HIV risk profile.
Latest NSW data shows the lowest annual number of HIV infections in 2018 since records began. However, a small cluster of HIV infections has been observed among patients not typically seen as being at risk of HIV.
These recent infections show a need for health professionals to increase HIV testing among heterosexual men who have sex with men and men having sex overseas.
These men may not see themselves at risk of HIV. Some may lead secretive or hidden lives, and may not feel comfortable asking for a HIV test during a medical consultation.
HIV infections have also been recorded among men having sex in countries with high HIV prevalence among the general population or in certain risk groups such as sex workers, men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs. This includes both men born overseas and Australian-born men. You can read more about this here.
Who to test
NSW Health encourages health professionals to test a diverse range of patients at risk of HIV, including people who:
- ask for a HIV test, regardless of their risk profile
- are men who have sex with other men (includes men identifying as heterosexual, gay, bisexual or pansexual)
- have had sex when travelling in a country with high HIV prevalence
- have had sex with someone from a country with high HIV prevalence
- come from a country with high HIV prevalence
- anyone diagnosed with another sexually transmitted infection.
The National HIV Testing Portal contains a full list of ‘at risk’ patient groups and clinical indicators for HIV testing.
DBS is a finger prick test for HIV and hepatitis C that may suit some patients and can be ordered online by eligible people. The test is free, easy and confidential.