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I/we chose to get tested

Test. Treat. Live Well.

I/We Chose to Get Tested is a creative social media campaign by NAPWHA in 2022, one which aims to raise awareness of HIV among the broader community, particularly for heterosexual men and women. It is easy to get tested for HIV, with many options available today. HIV tests are confidential. Now they are also easier and quicker with the availability for ordering a home testing kit online for convenience.

There are many reasons to get tested for HIV. Nearly one in ten Australians remain unaware of their HIV status, don’t get HIV medical care on time and can pass the virus on to others without knowing it. Taking the test is the only way to know for sure.

Throughout 2019-2021, Community Advocates were ambassadors for improving health promotion messaging for HIV health and quality of life. This campaign was co-designed by people living with HIV within our communities and forms part of an initiative from the Health Literacy Framework project.

See five individual images and read more from the featured people using every day language to explain the many benefits of regular HIV testing. These  images are being published via NAPWHA Facebook throughout August and September 2022.

Getting tests done with your doctor? Ask for a HIV test to be added.

“Getting tests done with your doctor? Ask for a HIV test to be added.” — Bev

“Assumptions about who is ‘at-risk’ in public health narratives have restricted women’s access to HIV testing on an equal basis to men.”

“Just like you go for a dental check-up or go for a regular pap smear – let HIV become just another part of your regular general health routine. Your sexual health is just as important.” 

HIV doesn’t have to be a barrier to having healthy children.

“HIV doesn’t have to be a barrier to having healthy children.” — Stephanie

“Many women with HIV are choosing to have children. Although you live with HIV, it’s possible for you to have a healthy pregnancy and it is likely your baby will be born healthy and HIV negative. Without antiretroviral treatment or other interventions, about one in four women with HIV transmit HIV to their infants. With effective interventions, the risk of transmission is very low.”

People on effective treatment can’t pass on HIV to their sexual partners.

“People on effective treatment can’t pass on HIV to their sexual partners.” — Couple #1

“For me, it’s one pill a day. HIV treatment has come a long way. HIV treatment can suppress the virus to the point that it can’t be transmitted through sex. U equals U – undetectable [viral load] means that you are untransmissible. Effective treatment means you can’t pass it on. Tell everybody.”

Knowing your HIV status is the first step to a full and healthy life.

“Knowing your HIV status is the first step to a full and healthy life.” — Diane

“HIV treatment has advanced – it’s not a death sentence, you can live a full and healthy life. Knowing your HIV status is the first step to this.”

Being sure keeps my partner safe.

“Being sure keeps my partner safe.” — Couple #2

“HIV testing, and knowing my HIV status gives me information to keep both my partner and myself safe.”

How/where can I get a HIV test?

Any general practitioner (GP) can provide you with sexual health testing. However, many doctors don’t have much experience with sexual health so we recommend accessing a sexual health clinic. Doctors with an interest in sexual health and sexual health clinics are able to provide safe, confidential and judgement-free support.

Remember, getting tested never needs to be embarrassing or shameful. Getting tested not only looks after your sexual health, but also that of your partners, and that’s great.

There are also many other HIV testing alternatives available, listed below.

Order an ATOMO HIV Self Test kit online

Although some websites may offer HIV self testing kits for sale in Australia, the only one approved for use by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) is the Atomo HIV Self Test.

Kits are available to buy online from the website or from selected sexual health/HIV organisations listed in the Atomo website’s FAQ section. You can purchase an HIV self testing kit for $25 in person, or online for the same price plus postage and handling fees.

Kits purchased online are delivered through the Australia Post Express Post service, arriving in a standard Express Post satchel with no disclosure of content. The device inside is wrapped in bubble wrap and there’s no indication of the company name. If you’re concerned about privacy at your postal address, Australia Post offer a parcel locker service accessible 24 hours a day.

Watch this space:  Coming soon in late-2022, NAPWHA will launch an initiative providing FREE access to the Atomo HIV Self Test.

Free Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Testing Home Kit for people in New South Wales

If you live in NSW the HIV home testing kit, Dried Blood Spot HIV Test (DBS) allows individuals to order a free self-sampling kit online, take their own sample in the privacy of their own home and send it to a laboratory for testing and results management. Just take a few drops of blood from your finger, mail the test back and get your results by phone, text or email. You do not need to go to a clinic or doctor to do this test. Testing kits can be ordered from from the website which also has information in a range of languages including plain English.

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