Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss today launched ‘Know The Score: Get Tested!’, a campaign that aims to encourage gay and bisexual men in Ireland to get tested or to retest for HIV.
Drag entertainer/activist Rory O’Neill today launched the campaign and a new online locator map on Man2Man.ie, making it easy to find a free HIV or STI testing centre nearby.
“As someone who is HIV positive and leads a healthy life, I would encourage everybody to get tested,” said O’Neill. “Testing is essential to prevent the spread of HIV, it also ensures that people who are HIV positive get the treatment they need early and can go on to lead a productive and normal life.”
Tomorrow I’ll spend 12hrs talking HIV testing/prevention. After 12hrs I reckon there’s chance the sound of my voice might actually kill HIV
— Panti Bliss (@PantiBliss) June 3, 2014
New research shows that over 80 percent of gay and bisexual men consider their risk of contracting HIV as unlikely. However, a significant number (70 percent) of sexually active gay and bisexual men have had unprotected sex, with almost one in ten saying they always have unprotected anal sex.
Mick Quinlan, Manager, Gay Men’s Health Service HSE and Joint co-ordinator of the Gay Health Network added, “Testing is an important part of any sexual health programme for MSM (men who have sex with men). Apart from carrying and using condoms, gay and bisexual men should consider testing for HIV to ‘Know the Score’ at the GMHS STI Checkpoint at Baggot St Hospital or by visiting our online locator to find their nearest free HIV or STI testing centre. Importantly, men who haven’t tested in a long time, and men who never tested, might not be aware of the benefits of an early diagnosis of HIV. We will be discussing this further at the 12th Annual Gay Health Forum in Dublin Castle next Friday, June 6.”
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