Rapid HIV and Hepatitis C tests available in Iceland for the 1st time

Men who practice sex with other men have a great opportunity to get tested for HIV and Hepatitis C in the next few weeks when quick and easy tests will become available in Iceland for the very first time. Ingibjörg Rósa and Lilja Katrín Gunnarsdóttir report.

Ragnheiður Hulda Friðriksdóttir is a project manager of a Hepatitis C treatment campaign that aims to diagnose all Hep C infected individuals in Iceland in order to treat them.

“These tests, from OraSure, are very easy to use but need to be carried out by professionals. It only takes a quick mouth swab and the results are ready 20 minutes later,” says nurse Ragnheiður Hulda Friðriksdóttir who is a project manager of a Hepatitis C treatment campaign that aims to diagnose all Hep C infected individuals in Iceland in order to treat them.

“It is estimated that between 800 and 1000 people are infected of Hepatitis C in Iceland and we believe that 80 percent of them have already been diagnosed so we want to find the rest of them so we can help them. The ultimate goal is of course to eliminate Hepatitis C from Iceland but that’s perhaps too optimistic a dream.”

Ragnheiður explains that both HIV and Hepatitis C are transmitted in the same way, by unclean syringe needles or sexual contact, especially between two men, so the tests will be used to skim for both viruses at the same time.

She says that the tests have over 90 percent accuracy and obviously the diagnosis will always need to be confirmed with a blood test. “That’s why health authorities have made it a condition that medical professionals carry out the tests, because those who receive positive results will receive further counselling and start a treatment immediately. Thankfully, Hepatitis can now be treated and HIV can be contained with medication so it’s very important to find those infected as early as possible.”

“These tests, from OraSure, are very easy to use but need to be carried out by professionals. It only takes a quick mouth swab and the results are ready 20 minutes later.”

Icelandic health authorities have given permission for these sorts of tests to be used for the very first time, because of the campaign that Ragnheiður heads. “We have funding and a plan for the next 2-3 years to try and find all Hepatitis C infected individuals in Iceland and give them treatment so this is a great opportunity for us and those at risk to react.”

In order to reach males who have sexual relations with other men, which is one of the groups at risk of retracting both viruses, Ragnheiður and her team will set up station for a few days at the headquarters of Samtökin ’78 and HIV Iceland and welcome anyone who wants to get tested. “Regular tests are always available to anyone at the clinics, free of charge, but now we’ll make them more accessible and fast results, not the long waiting time that many find difficult. So I urge people to take advantage of this; we have a great opportunity to make the most of these tests in the next 2-3 years, which might help us gain control over the spreading of Hepatitis C in Iceland.”

Ragnheiður will be one of the speakers at an open symposium in Silfurberg in Harpa held on Wednesday evening as part of the annual Medical Week held by the Icelandic Medical Society. The symposium is called “Is C hiding in your home?” and is not the least aimed at informing the public more about the threat, the signs and the treatment. Amongst other speakers are writer Einar Már Guðmundsson and Kristmundur Sigurðsson who’s undergone treatment for Hep C.
“The symposium is open to the public and I encourage people who are curious to attend, we have to make the most of this opportunity we have to beat this threat,” Ragnheiður concludes.

HIV Iceland has high hopes for new tests

Iceland is experiencing a record year in HIV and AIDS cases with 24 people diagnosed so far, 6 with AIDS and 19 with HIV, compared to 2015 when 13 people were diagnosed and 10 cases in 2014. So many people haven‘t been diagnosed with AIDS here since 1994, or in 22 years. The managing director of HIV Iceland hopes that rapid HIV tests will help prevent this development.

Einar Þór Jónsson, the managing director of HIV Ísland, has high hopes for new rapid HIV tests. “Our dream is to have a testing facility down town, preferably in Hverfisgata, close to HIV Iceland, where people can get tested once a week.”

“There are complex reasons for this increase in diagnosed HIV and Aids cases. This year the group of people diagnosed with HIV in Iceland differs from the ones in previous years. It’s a mix of men and women of all ages and in some cases they’ve been infected for a long time. Which means that they’ve been going from department to department within the health care system for years without being tested for the disease.

And one of the reasons for that is that both the pubclic and health care professionals don’t necessarily link bad health with HIV. It‘s still more commonly connected with homosexuality,” says Einar Þór Jónsson, the managing director of HIV Iceland, an organization that aims to educate the public about HIV and AIDS and to support those infected and their families.

“So if a gay man seeks health care because he is not feeling well it is more likely that he would get tested for HIV,” he goes on and points out that of course the truth is that everybody can get infected by HIV. “HIV is being transmitted everywhere. And we know it‘s not good to have HIV for a long time and not know about it because it goes untreated and people can infect others.”

“…with a rapid test, you just show up at a test facility and get your gum swabbed. It‘s going to make the process less of a taboo and not a source of embarrassment.”

Einar believes that the new rapid HIV and Hepatitis C tests will change things for the better. “I think people currently find it insurmountable to contact a hospital, book an appointment, show up, get stung by a needle to get tested, wait for a whole day for the results and get asked various questions about sexual orientation and sexual behavior by a hospital employee in a white robe. I think it’s a hindrance to many. But with a rapid test, you just show up at a test facility and get your gum swabbed. It‘s going to make the process less of a taboo and not a source of embarrassment. And as a result more people will get tested.”

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website: https://blush.is/

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        - get inspired

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          - for all your Apple needs

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
          For all your Apple needs. We are here.

          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us

          Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.