Glasgow & West Scotland

Health tests service for gay and bisexual men in Glasgow

A drop-in service offering sexual health testing for gay and bisexual men has been launched in Glasgow.

The clinic, run by Sandyford service and Gay Men's Health, will run on Thursday evenings in Merchant City.

Using blood drawn from fingers, results from HIV and syphilis testing will be available within 20 minutes.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) hopes the service will raise awareness of HIV among gay men and reduce future rates of infection.

NHS GGC sexual health improvement officer Nicky Coia said: "HIV is the sexually transmitted infection that people really worry about, so the fact they can get results really quickly is important.

'Biggest barrier'

"We wanted to open up choice to men who might find it more difficult of go through the process of booking an appointment and having to wait for test results.

"The biggest barrier for gay and bisexual men in regards to testing for HIV is the fear of a positive result. So anything we can do to reduce that level of fear is really important."

According to Health Protection Scotland, there are an estimated 4,315 people who are HIV positive living in Scotland.

Unprotected sex among gay men currently accounts for the largest number of new HIV diagnosis in Scotland.

"With this new service, and also the Terrence Higgins Trust community testing which recently launched, both models make sure that people have a clear pathway to NHS services that are already in place," added Mr Coia.

"So anyone who is diagnosed will be immediately referred into appropriate NHS services for follow-up treatment and care."

The clinic will run from 16:30 to 19:30 every Thursday at the Gay Men's Health Glasgow office in Bell Street, Merchant City, Glasgow.

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