In a first for Ireland, the MPOWER Programme at HIV Ireland have launched a free HIV self-test service which can be delivered directly to a person’s home. Alongside the tests, the MPOWER team will be available to support users throughout.
Adam Shanley, the MPOWER Programme Manager, shared, “The test kit can be ordered online for free and is delivered directly to your door in discreet plain packaging. It’s easy to use and provides a result within 15 minutes. We’ve built a full support structure around the service to ensure that users have access to an MPOWER team member by phone, email, whatsapp or zoom from the moment they order a test through to reading their result and for any further services or supports they may need.
“While the MPOWER Programme aims to engage gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) – anyone wanting to access an HIV self-test can order one online.”
Press Release: #HIVIreland launches new HIV Self-Test service to improve testing rates among people at increased vulnerability to acquiring HIV and reduce transmission of #HIV. https://t.co/av7W4Qoj5H pic.twitter.com/3BuGJwdC18
— HIV Ireland (@HIVIreland) November 3, 2020
As well as the HIV self-test service, MPOWER have also launched a free condom and lube service. Shanley continued, “When restrictions relax, we’ll continue to make free condoms and lube available in dispensers across Dublin’s LGBT+ venues but we wanted to make sure that folks continued to have access while those venues remain closed. An MPOWER pack is free, it contains 10 condoms and lube and is sent directly to your door in discreet plain packaging.
“We’re really excited to add these two free services to the MPOWER Programme offering. They’re both accessible through the new MPOWER portal on the HIV Ireland website. On the portal, service users can also book an appointment for our peer-led rapid HIV testing service (which continues during level 5 restrictions), speak with the MPOWER outreach team on all things sexual health, and find out more about what the MPOWER Programme is all about.
“We launched the MPOWER Programme at the end of February this year – just before the pandemic landed in Ireland. Since then we’ve been working hard at developing and adapting services and resources with an aim of responding to the sexual health and wellbeing needs of gbMSM. We’re looking forward to developing even more.”
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