New rapid HIV testing service launched in Ireland

Figures for 2015 show the rate of detections of the virus increased last year

New rapid HIV testing service launched in Ireland

File photo

A new rapid HIV testing service has been launched in Ireland.

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) say figures for 2015 show that the rate of detections of the virus increased again last year.

GLEN, the Sexual Health Centre Cork and GOSHH Limerick have joined forces to launch the free programme.

It is hoped it will encourage more people to know their HIV status.

The new testing service will be community-based and available in non-clinical settings.

The funding for the project was announced by acting Health Minister Leo Varadkar at the recent launch of Ireland’s first National Sexual Health Strategy.

It was launched by activist Rory O'Neill - aka PantiBliss.

The service will be available in Dublin, Cork and Limerick - as well as in Dublin's Pantibar on Capel Street in the city, which is owned by PantiBliss.

Policy director for GLEN, Tiernan Brady, says the new service aims to encourage people to get tested.