Melbourne’s south to spearhead rapid HIV-testing technology

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HEALTH professionals are lobbying for the first community-based trial of rapid HIV-testing technology to take place in Melbourne’s south.

Following Health Minister David Davis’ announcement, Victoria is to become the first state in Australia to trial the testing service, which can confirm results in 20 to 30 minutes instead of a week, Bayside Medicare Local is pushing for the pilot initiative to be held in the south.

Bayside Medicare Local chief executive Elizabeth Deveny said the region, which includes Stonnington, Bayside, Port Phillip, Glen Eira and Kingston, was home to some of the world’s most respected HIV researchers and medical experts.

“We want to work with the government to make sure the trial is backed up by the most appropriate counselling, treatment and healthcare for patients,” she said.

The test, which involves a finger prick or saliva sample, has been operating in the US and Europe for 15 years.

Following an 8 per cent rise in diagnosed HIV cases in Victoria between 2010 and 2011, it is hoped the initiative will encourage people to get tested more regularly.

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