Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a rapid service for gay and bisexual men in Newcastle.

The city’s NHS Primary Care Trust and MESMAC North East are working together with THT to launch a testing service called the “Fastest” clinic.

It will offer a one hour HIV testing – results from tests at sexual health clinics can take several days.

The aim of the service is to provide an alternative testing environment for people who are not able to access services during the normal working day, or who may be put off by hospitals and traditional sexual health clinics.

Andrew Smith, associate director at THT, said:

“This is the first time that a service in Newcastle has been able to give HIV test results within an hour.

“The clinic is also right in the centre of the city and operates outside normal working hours so it’s quick and convenient.

“We hope that by making it easier to have a test, more people will come forward.”

The clinic will be run by staff from the GUM Clinic at Newcastle General Hospital.

The service will be open access rather than appointment based, and will be open every Tuesday evening between 5-7pm.

Pre and post test counselling will be offered to those attending and anyone who tests positive will be given full support, including information on treatment centres and local services including counselling, information, advice and peer support.

The Fastest clinic will be based at MESMAC North East, 3rd Floor, 11 Nelson Street, Newcastle, NE1 5AN.

For further information on the clinic please contact THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200.