HIV POSITIVE OLYMPIAN AND ADVOCATE: Ji Wallace said the CHEP Rapid Roadshow was vital in breaking down the barriers around HIV testing and awareness.
HIV POSITIVE OLYMPIAN AND ADVOCATE: Ji Wallace said the CHEP Rapid Roadshow was vital in breaking down the barriers around HIV testing and awareness. Contributed

Quick new test for HIV

A NEW, 20-minute rapid HIV test has meant people no longer have an agonising wait to get results that could change their life.

Raising awareness of HIV and the importance of being tested is the aim of the HIV Foundation Queensland's Rapid Roadshow, which will visit Bundaberg tomorrow.

After a sharp increase in notifications of new HIV diagnoses in Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service in 2012, notifications in 2013 returned to the previous four-year average of four diagnoses a year.

HIV Foundation CEO Tony Majer said with an estimated 3500 people living with HIV in Queensland, initiatives such as the Rapid Roadshow were essential as we work toward reducing HIV transmissions.

"The Rapid Roadshow is an important opportunity for us to reach a wide audience across Queensland with the Get HIV informed, Get HIV tested message," Mr Majer said.

"Our CHEP team will conduct fun quizzes and give away merchandise to reinforce HIV awareness messages, including 'You can't get HIV from sharing a drink' drink bottles and 'You can't get HIV from kissing' lip balms."

HIV-positive Olympian and advocate Ji Wallace said the CHEP Rapid Roadshow was vital in breaking down the barriers around HIV testing and awareness.

"The HIV message has stopped in recent years for many reasons which has contributed to a spike in new transmissions. Taking the Get HIV informed, Get HIV tested message on the road, to the people, is a new phase in HIV awareness," Mr Wallace said.

"Historically, since the HIV epidemic arrived on our doorstep, it has pained anyone needing peace of mind or indeed medical action to wait for more than a week for results.

"Now thankfully, we have the rapid testing available throughout many sites across Queensland."

The Rapid Roadshow will be at Alexandra Park West from 10.30am-2.30pm, and at Mon Repos from 3.30-6pm tomorrow.