ENDING HIV: MNCLHD program manager Jenny Heslop, CoastOut director Todd Buttery and Anabell Thoener from ACON.
ENDING HIV: MNCLHD program manager Jenny Heslop, CoastOut director Todd Buttery and Anabell Thoener from ACON.

Free, quick, easy test to help end HIV stigma

IT'S a colourful, family friendly music festival with many added benefits, including free and quick sexual health testing.

As part of this weekend's CoastOut Festival, ACON and Mid North Coast Local Health District is giving people the chance to have rapid "pop up" HIV testing.

Festival director Todd Buttery said the strategy was part of a nation-wide Ending HIV campaign.

MNCLHD HIV and related programs manager Jenny Heslop said bringing pop-up testing to the CoastOut Festival would hopefully increase testing rates while decreasing HIV stigma and other barriers to testing.

"The rapid HIV test is completely free and confidential and you get your results in less than 30 minutes," Ms Heslop said.

"CoastOut is a fabulous event on the regional LGBTI calendar and ACON has loved being able to be part of the festival each year since its inception."

The testing will be carried out in a van provided by Watsons Caravans & RVs.

It will be at Park Beach Reserve from 10am to 4pm today and tomorrow. Entry to the festival marquee is a gold coin donation and no bookings are needed.



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