The free and confidential clinic will run every Monday from 6pm to 8pm. Anyone is welcome to attend and take the test with no prior appointment.
Testing is done using a finger-prick blood test, with the results provided within fifteen minutes. Those who attend the clinic will be given information and support before and after the test, and anyone who tests positive will be referred immediately to a specialist clinic. Terrence Higgins Trust staff will also provide free condoms, and information and advice on safer sex. The clinic will provide an alternative testing environment for people who may be put off by hospitals and traditional sexual health clinics.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of people living with HIV in the UK. In 2011, there were more than 4,474 people living with the condition in the East of England, of whom a quarter were undiagnosed.
Rachel Toner, Service Manager for Terrence Higgins Trust in Suffolk, said: “With advances in HIV treatment, there are now far more reasons to know your HIV status than there are not to. We’re delighted to be launching our first rapid HIV testing service in Suffolk, and hope we can encourage more people to come forward for testing and reduce undiagnosed HIV locally. If you haven’t had a test in a while, or you’re worried you may have put yourself at risk, please come along and take advantage of our fast and friendly service.”
Terrence Higgins Trust’s rapid HIV testing clinic will take place on Mondays from 6pm to 8pm at the charity’s Suffolk centre at 3 – 9 Arcade St, Ipswich, IP1 1EX. For more information, please call 01473 393102, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.