Rapid HIV testing brought to Barking and Dagenham

New HIV services that allow people to get results instantly have been introduced in Barking town centre and at two GP practices.

Every Tuesday from 4pm to 7pm, Positive East, London’s leading community-based HIV charity, is offering rapid HIV testing at the Barking Learning Centre in Barking Town Square.

No appointment is needed and the finger-prick test takes a few seconds and gives the results straight away.

To complement the test, trained staff will be available to offer support on HIV and sexually-transmitted infections.

A new HIV testing pilot is also being launched at the Child and Family Centre on Axe Street, Barking, and the King Edwards Medical Centre in King Edwards Road, Barking.

Currently GP practices have to refer a patient for a blood test to check for HIV, which is then sent to a lab and this takes time for the result to come back.

Cllr Maureen Worby, cabinet member for health, said: “The council is working closely with all its partners to introduce new services to encourage residents to go for tests, as early diagnosis is beneficial. Anyone can request an HIV test - it is completely optional and confidential.”