Health professionals should ask relevant questions about sexual practices (see STI/HIV Testing Tool) and avoid assumptions about a patient's risk.
HIV testing should be routinely offered to men, women and gender diverse people who:
- are from or who travel to high prevalence countries
- sexual partners of people from or who travel to high prevalence countries
- ask for a HIV test, regardless of their risk profile
- are diagnosed with another sexually transmissible infection (STI).
The National HIV Testing Portal of ‘who to test’ and clinical indicators for HIV testing.
Tools, resources and support services
Dried Blood Spot test for HIV and hepatitis C
DBS is a finger prick test for HIV and hepatitis C that can be ordered online by eligible people. DBS is free, easy and confidential. Your service can register as a DBS Project site and assist people to
register and test – contact Nigel.Carrington@health.nsw.gov.au for more information.
Starting treatment early offers significantly improved health benefits for patients and prevents
HIV transmission to others.
HIV prevention using pre-exposure prophylaxis - PrEP
New HIV prevention methods significantly reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. HIV PrEP is a pill taken daily by HIV negative people to reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV.
People with a Medicare card who are at high-risk of HIV can now purchase PrEP in Australia with a stream-lined authority PBS prescription from a GP and have it dispensed from a community pharmacy.
The Decision Making in PrEP: Prescribing Pathway for PrEP in NSW tool summarises eligibility and recommended assessment criteria for primary care providers in NSW who want to prescribe PrEP.
See the ASHM PrEP Clinical Guidelines for more information.
Condoms provide the best protection against both HIV and STI
Free condoms for distribution are available (NSW only).