Free, confidential and anonymous – the rapid HIV test

 

The service, operated by Infosex has been running for a number of years, is free, confidential and anonymous

The Adeje council’s department of health has just launched a campaign to encourage people who fall into certain groups to take advantage of the rapid HIV testing available in the borough. “According to the health councillor, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, “we have been offering this service for a few years now through the Infosex service, in South Tenerife, in collaboration with the Canarian Health Service. Through the programme those interested in being tested can do so in a fast, confidential, free and anonymous way, with qualified personnel in attendance. We feel that perhaps there are people unaware of the service so wanted to launch this campaign to publicise it for the general public”.

Trujillo Bencomo added, “Our main objective is always the good health of the people of Adeje. Since 2014 we have been in partnership with the regional health service in offering HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease testing in non-clinical settings, offering early detection to ensure better health care”.

Infosex Adeje is based in the south of Tenerife with its main objective being to offer information regarding health and sexuality. They also carry rapid testing for HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis C. Infosex also, in collaboration with the Adeje Health Centre, offer the Hep A vaccine and work with the Asociación Cruz Blanca to reach vulnerable women who may be working in prostitution. The service is completely anonymous, confidential and free and can be accessed by anyone. The telephone number to call for an appointment for a rapid HIV test is 601701703.

In 2017 the Adeje department of health, with Infosex Adeje, carried out over 200 of the above mentioned tests and vaccinated over 150 people. The councillor is encouraging more people to take up the offer of the service to improve the lives and health of people in the area. “From today we are involved in a serious campaign to let people know about Infosex Adeje and the services on offer. We want to make people aware of the importance of early diagnosis in HIV/Aids cases and encourage people to take the rapid test, particularly those who are in groups more at risk of HIV, such men engaging in sexual activity with other men and transsexual women. The campaign will use all media, social platforms, posters, leaflets, etc.”

According to the National Plan in Aids, 30% of people living with Aids in Spain are still not aware that they are HIV positive, and furthermore the incidence of STIs continues to rise. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. They have a 90:90:90 strategy: By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. Adeje councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo says, “the Adeje council is committed to allocating the human, material and economic resources necessary to work with this international body to make this happen”.

Department of Communications

Adeje Introduces Free HIV Testing Service

Regional director general for public health José Díaz - Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

Regional director general for public health José Díaz – Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

This week the regional director general for public health José Díaz – Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, presented a pilot project including a sexual information service and early rapid HIV detection testing. The service will be available in the Adeje health promotion department in the Centre for Tourism Development Costa Adeje (CDTCA) and testing will be carried out on Mondays and Thursdays, with an appointment, that can be made by phoning 922-756-257 or 922-756-244.

The object of the service is to offer information that should improve the general population’s awareness of sexually transmitted infections, reduce the incidence of HIV as well as unwanted pregnancies. The free testing service will be carried out in the presence of trained personnel and offers a guarantee of total confidentiality and should help those who, says the mayor, may not wish to go to their local health centre or talk to the own GP about testing. There will be personnel who will be able to assist people who have limited or no Spanish.
The mayor said they were already working with a sex education programme through local schools and secondary which was designed to give young people the knowledge they needed to develop their own sexuality independently and without risks. “We worry about the health of our citizens”, he said, “and we have felt it necessary to promote an educational campaign which will promote a healthier safer life for all. That’s why we are creating this Sex Information Point which will help people with their sexual orientation as well as the creation of a HIV testing centre that is discreet, with personalised attention and quick results”.

The regional director general for public health said that this was a pilot project, and if the results were good it would be repeated in other parts of the islands. “Illnesses caused by sexually transmission are a cause of worry for the administrations, particularly heath bodies. The most worrying is HIV. In the Canary Islands we are seeing 250 new cases annually, and the problem nationally and internationally is that 30 % of those who are infected don’t know, and therefore we have to reinforce the need for early detection which will prevent the development of other parallel infections and greatly improve the quality of life of the person who is HIV positive”.
Flores Estévez said that the profile of those diagnosed with HIV has changed, and today the largest group are those who are infected through unprotected sex – 93.7 of which 71% are men who have sexual relations with other men. Only 3.4% of new cases are as a result of intravenous drug use

The project includes a number of other initiatives such as an awareness raising drive among the public with social and professional agencies working together in education, with associations and families offering a series of talks and workshops on sexual behaviour and better health. There will also be prevention projects aimed at the borough’s young people and talks for parents and educators in co-ordination with local health centres, social services and youth groups.

Fast testing service
The staff who will be carrying out the HIV testing service are health professionals who will adhere to a rigid and approved protocol based on confidentiality and the rights of those using the service. The regional department of public health is assisting in the carrying out of the tests which can be done either via oral fluid or digital blood testing (OraQuick Advance and INSTI HIV-1/2 respectively). The test results are known within 20 minutes. Prior to administering the test the person seeking the test will be told about what it entails and a quick interview will be held solely to determine if it is really necessary. Throughout the entire procedure the intimacy of the person seeking the test is respected.