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NZAF Offers Free, Confidential HIV Tests

NZAF Offers Free and Confidential
HIV Tests and Counselling

In the wake of the rescinding of name suppression for Artwell Chakanyuka the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) is encouraging people to access both HIV testing and support services. Eamonn Smythe, NZAF Director Positive Health Services states “this is a truly distressing situation for anyone to be in: people who find out they may have been exposed to HIV will be very stressed out and we advise them to access HIV testing and support services as soon as possible. This is a very lonely and worrying situation to be in but help is available – it’s much better to know, and have support, than to struggle in isolation and uncertainty”.

Smythe says “HIV has far reaching consequences. Support for people affected by HIV needs to continue beyond testing. The family of Chakanyuka are in our thoughts at this time; it is essential that they experience respect and compassion, not discrimination and stigma as a result of this court decision.”

Unlike the early days of the HIV epidemic, modern testing methods like the FASTests (Fee Anonymous Simple Test for HIV)used by the NZAF provide a result in 20 minutes, are almost painless and are totally confidential. The NZAF provides free therapeutic services nationwide with qualified counsellors and psychotherapists before and after testing, for both positive and negative results.

Anyone needing free, painless, fast and confidential HIV testing and support can call 0800 802 437 or go to www.nzaf.orgnz. HIV can only be spread through bodily fluids such as semen or blood. HIV is not airborne and can not be transmitted through skin to skin contact or kissing. In New Zealand, HIV is almost exclusively transmitted through sexual contact but using condoms and lube for sex can easily prevent this.

ENDS

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