Time to get tested?

Einar Thor Jonsson
Einar Thor Jonsson

“HIV is spreading in Iceland between men having sex with other men. That is why, we The HIV Organization Iceland, The National Queer Organization, Q – Queer Student Association and The National University Hospital of Iceland are jointly for the first time offering a free HIV-test today, Thursday March 27th. This we do to raise awareness hopefully to reduce HIV from spreading,” says Einar Thor Jonsson, public health worker and director of The HIV Organization of Iceland. Adding that everyone is welcome.

The test will be offered at The National Queer Organization’s community Center, downtown Reykjavik, located on the 4th floor of Laugavegur 3, today between 1 and 4.30pm. This is the first time a HIV test is being offered outside a health clinic in Iceland.

Asked whether its best to schedule an appointment or just show up, Einar says:”You can just show up for the test as long as you’re there between 1 and 5pm.”

Is there full confidentiality?
“Yes. Individuals are promised confidentiality. However anonymity is not possible. Your name and social number is required.”

How long does the test take?
“Only about 2-3 minutes, like most blood-tests. In 2-3 days time the results should be in.”

How precise is the test?
“Very accurate.”

What are the next steps if I’m diagnosed positive (with HIV) ?
“Another HIV-test is required to be a hundred percent sure that the results a right. If the latter test confirms the first you will be appointed an interview with a doctor and get the necessary treatment right away. You can also get crisis counselling, either an appointment with a psychologist or a social worker. The first meetings are free. We at the HIV-organization also offer counselling and at our center, at Hverfisgata 69, Reykjavik 101, you have an opportunity to meet people in the same situation.”

What are the newest advances in HIV treatment?
“Thanks to drug development people infected with HIV can live a healthy life today. One reason being little side effects of drugs usage. What is more, people with HIV are not sexually infectious – that is if they’re getting the right drug treatment. So there has been significant progress in drug design over the last years and things have certainly changed for the better.”

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