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South London: Gay men to be offered free HIV home sampling kits when returning home from clubs

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  1. David Skinner 14 Aug 2013, 11:50am

    Why not also give free incontinence pads and a free bus pass to the genito- urinary department of Bart’s bum hospital, whilst they are at it?

  2. Being accosted with an HIV testing kit is NOT what want to be accosted with after a night out on the town.

    Are inebriated gay men really in the right frame of mind to deal with this when staggering from a club or wherever?

    They are hardly in the right frame of mind to be following instructions of use, let alone dealing with a possible positive result

    This exercise is coarse, lacks subtlety and smacks of desperation. and is a step too far in the HIV sector’s zeal to get people to test.

    Let US decide where and when the time is right, OK?

    1. If someone fobbed a HIV test at me on the way out of a club I really don’t think I’d be that bothered. I know it’s not nice to think gay men are more prone to STD’s because people like to use that against us but it IS true, we ARE men!

      2 men are going to be more likley to contract an STD than a man/woman or 2 women, there’s no question about it. It’s just EASIER for men to catch STD’s and they are such horny dogs they often cannot wait to get their rocks off and disregard safe sex in their desperation because HELLO, they’re men. I would like an STD/HIV testing kit like this, who wants to go to those horrible clinics when you can just do it at home the morning after !

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 1:25pm

        You clearly haven’t been to a clinic to see that their are more straight people than gay at STI clinic. They are usual full most of the day, so ill advised to separate this issue into orientation.

        1. There are far more straight people out there, though, so even if gays are more likely to get STD’s, there will still be more straight people at the clinics.

    2. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 1:23pm

      Yet after a night out for some places it actually would reach the people it needs to.

      Surely tackling this issue holds not bounds, no times it should be done whenever it can.

      1. Using that argument, Jock, why not just go the whole hog and issue gay men stumbling and gurning out of the likes of XXL PEP packs?

        No, a totally ludicrous idea, but made to emphasise the similar level of lunacy putting testing kits into the same, trippy-toed, blurred-eyed hands.

        And anyone who believes that most gay men do not depart such places without having ingested quantities of alcohol and/or powdered substances – copious or otherwise – is surely deluding themselves!

        1. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 4:36pm

          And who says they have to do the test that night?

          Some may choose not to do, others will.

          It’s for them that this project is worth it.

          Perhaps you think this should all be hidden but if we keep tip-toeing around we ain’t gonna get nowhere.

          What some don’t want others will and at least those ‘HIV sector’s are actively being seen, trying.

          1. But as you concede some will, Jock, some will.

            And how will that heady mix of combustible, noxious substances compute when said testing pack is sent off for analysis?

            Will the body whence the pin prick came have already begun producing a heady plethora chemicals to counteract and protect the immune system against intensive assault from alien compounds?

            And how will the body’s reaction against said assault thus interfere with the efficacy of the kits?

            Prey do tell.

            To any rational mind this desperate, zealous quest to get gay men to test at whatever cost is lunacy of the highest order.

    3. ChrisMorley 14 Aug 2013, 4:52pm

      It is NOT a home “testing kit” and does not give you an immediate result like a pregnancy test. It is just a “home sampling kit”.

      You then have to post off the saliva / mouth cells sample you took to the laboratory. They carry out a test and post you a result days later.
      If the result suggests you may have HIV they do not say the test came back positive. They simply strongly advise you to now go to an STI clinic which will take a blood sample which is tested by two methods to ensure you only get an accurate result.

      It’s unlikely that many men who are pissed or under the influence of drugs will even attempt to take the sample that same night. They’ll likely find it in their pocket next day and think about taking the sample then to post to the lab.

      There’s no “positive result” to deal with when all you are doing is taking a sample from your mouth which you then need to post to the laboratory for analysis.

  3. How about offering the same unreliable tests to Heteros – Or are they claiming that HIV only affects Gays? –

    1. They aren’t saying it affects only us gays, but statistically it does still DISPROPORTIONATELY affect us. There are slightly more HIV+ heterosexuals than homosexuals in the world for example, but given that (roughly speaking) 10% of people are gay, this accounts for a much larger percentage of all gays being affected compared to the percentage of all hetro’s being affected.

      I do agree tho, the timing and nature of THIS handout is ill advised. Surely a free handout from the local chemist would be more sensible. That’s where I would be more comfortable going on sunday morning if I woke up thinking “did I REALLY do that?”

      1. Absolutely!

        The decision to test should be a voluntary one and not forced onto the unsuspecting in such a crass, intrusive and opportunistic way.

        Is the HIV sector really so desperate to boost demand for its client services in the face of austerity cuts that it must resort to such desperate manoeuvres as this?

        T’would appear thus.

        1. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 1:18pm

          Either way the ‘HIV sector’ cannot win.

          They appear to be damned if they’re seen not doing enough and damned when they are actively taking action.

          Either way you have to wonder if the people making such accusations really want things to change when it comes to HIV.

          I know I do, which is why I support anything that helped get people the treatment they need.

      2. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 1:21pm

        When is the right time?

        The kits are just that, when you do them and if is entirely up to whoever takes one?

      3. ‘Slightly more’ read the Stats – 38 million people living with HIV – and you reckon slightly more are Hetero – FOOL!

  4. There is a definitive push for more HIV testing and depending on the kind of test it is not total nonsense. At least people may have one at home and may be tempted to use it at some point.

    There is more to be concerned about such as unsupervised home testing which has also being announced in the media last Sunday by Anna Soubry without much about governance framework. See

  5. Not thought out – I remember the days in Brighton when you were offered a lolly pop for agreeing to have a syphilis test in a club. Bearing in mind most guys will have had a drink or whatever, I don’t think asking people to test after a night out is a good idea. Education and leave the decisions to test to the individual.
    ps. even had guys asking gay guys to test on the nudist beach a few years ago!!

  6. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 1:10pm

    Anything that helps people know and get treatment has to be encouraged.

    Just because they’ll take a kit doesn’t mean they’ll do it but knowing they can has to be a good thing.

    There are plenty of people who won’t go to a clinic. I know a lot of straight men who won’t either so these should be handed to all coming out of nightclubs and help get treatment for whoever need it.

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 1:12pm

      We have to accept that not everyone is the same, so getting the message across has to take different forms to appeal to the different people.

  7. Furthermore is the added complication that after a heavy night out immune systems will for some be severely compromised, and therefore the potential for false positive results is elevated.

    It is said that the immune systems of those using crystal meth, for example, can be severely depleted.

    What, I wonder, the impact of a self pos diagnosis on someone who had been party and playing all weekend and is in the throes of the blackest of comedowns?

    This manouvre is ill-advised and a multitude of problems will arise as a result, causing more harm than the good those pushing for their implementation no doubt hope to achieve.


    1. I believe the tests are sampling kits meaning that guys taking the kits home can use them whenever they like and then they send their sample to a lab and get their results a few days later, guys won’t be finding out their status immediately and support offered if the test is positive.

      Surely having a test kit handy at home is better than not having one at all

      1. How do you know, John?

        In that case why not offer them to newly weds and their guests departing registry offices?

        Why offer them to people in their weakest state of mind and when their bodies are most intoxicated?

        This is the height of reckless irresponsibility, so much so that one begins to whether is it really by design?

        After all, retrospect of HIV prevention campaigns of the last 15 years shows us clearly that many have been designed to incentivise and encourage the transmission of HIV, not prevent.

        HIV “prevention” has been subverted over the years:- that much cannot be denied in the face of now irrefutable and demonstrable evidence.

        All the HIV sector seems intent on doing these days is pushing its services and drugs for the pharma makers who’ve been allowed to become too ingratiated and influential within these orgs.

        Let’s not forget HIV is first and foremost to those in the decision-making process a multi-billion dollar industry that successful HIV prevention threatens.

        1. ChrisMorley 14 Aug 2013, 4:30pm

          John has correctly described the process.

          You are handed a kit which is intended for use at home. It does not work like a pregnancy test. It is just a home sampling kit, not a home testing kit.

          You have to post off your sample (you rub a cotton bud type thing around the inside of your mouth for a few moments). You put that in a sample pot and the pot in an envelope to post to the laboratory for testing. Days later you get a result through the post. If the lab test suggests you may have HIV, you are not told you have HIV, only that the result means you are strongly advised to go to an STI clinic to give a blood sample for the accurate tests clinics do.

          It’s really unlikely that many people will attempt to take the sample while still pissed or wasted that night. Even if they did, they would need to go and find a postbox and then wait for the laboratory to do the test and send them a result in the post days later.

          This is not the “height of reckless irresponsibility”.

          1. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 4:41pm

            Hear, Hear!!

        2. Jock S. Trap 14 Aug 2013, 4:40pm

          and here’s me thinking people will be offered them so they had a choice to take the kits home.

          Why should that be a bad thing?

          I’m wondering what you’re real gripe is with HIV?

          Why shouldn’t things like testing get better? Why shouldn’t people be able to take home a kit when offered?

          You complain when things are getting done, so what is your real problem with combating HIV?

    2. So, since someone may be high and sad if they find out they are positive, the tests should be offered to no one? It’s as if you make the assumption that a night out automatically means gay men are on hard drugs, which is obviously false. You also are ignoring any benefit to all the people who are NOT druggy messes. Illogical.

      1. Oh really JY?

        So the bright young things at Fire are all sipping Ribena and the chunks who funk over at XXL are slurping on lemonade?

        Oh please!!!

    3. do you understand biology

    4. “Furthermore is the added complication that after a heavy night out immune systems will for some be severely compromised, and therefore the potential for false positive results is elevated”

      This statement is factually incorrect.

      HIV tests are not a measure of the immune function (that is a CD4 cell count test amongst others), but a test to look for antibodies & / or antigens to HIV (home kits only look at antibodies). If an individual has HIV & the necessary window period has passed for the test to be accurate then antibodies are either present or not, & this is not dependent on how compromised the immune system is or on how intoxicated an individual may be.

      I am not having a pop here Samuel, but I have explained this to you on many occasions & you still insist on making these inaccurate statements – it is obvious you still do not know how HIV tests work, & therefore if you don’t know, please do not continue to make such false statements. You could try & read up about the subject!

  8. I’m personally appalled at people who would complain about the chance to check their status this way. It’s not being forced, merely offered, and it’s irresponsible NOT to know. Shame on you. This could lead to someone finding out they are positive and taking lifesaving steps, and is no different than offering a condom.

    1. No, it is NOT irresponsible not to know your HIV status.

      It IS irresponsible to knowingly and wittingly practise unsafe sex.

      But since effective and straightforward safe/safer sex education has long been anathema, how can gay men today, particularly the young, be sure they are properly navigating their way around what constitutes safe/safer sex?

      No, the safe/safer message has long become blurred, subverted and obscured, so now we are all irresponsible if we do not get tested regularly and know our status.

      And those pushing this new message and who are imploring us to test are the same voices who cynically took their finger off the safe/safer sex message in the first place!

      You couldn’t make it up, really you couldn’t.

  9. David Skinner 14 Aug 2013, 2:19pm

    It is good to hear some honesty from Pink News readers. However it must be said that according to the ONS only 1-1.5% of the population is gay. The 10% figure comes from that fraud Alfred Kinsey who himself died after performing bizarre sex experiments on himself. Some believe that this life is meaningless and therefore one should simply eat and drink and fornicate because tommorow they die. But Jesus Christ warns us, “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out….And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.” He was speaking figuratively of course but not about hell.

    1. Who asked you?!

  10. actuplondon 14 Aug 2013, 7:29pm

    Still no support for.the people living abandonef in ukcs collapse

  11. Staircase2 14 Aug 2013, 7:55pm

    I can’t believe how anyone with half a brain cell would think it’s a good idea to give HIV home testing kits to people coming out of clubs.

    I appreciate that this is in fact home sampling and not testing (a point which should be explained in the article to avoid confusion).

    Given that the Government is now persuaded to legitimise home TESTING too I think it’s important to point out how irresponsible it is to be asking and/or encouraging people to test without full and proper support around them.

    1. I think your fears are based in the past when HIV was a terminal condition, science has moved on, yet it seems attitudes have not.

      Prompt diagnosis & treatment saves lives, not to mention the reduced cost to the NHS & reduction in the potential to pass HIV on – no brainer really!

      1. Rudehamster 10 Oct 2013, 8:56pm

        Ok…As some of you know, I’ve worked in Substance Misuse & Mental Health for 22yrs. I’ve also worked within / been around the London club scene for just as long, so let me just take you through a serious look at this suggestion.

        You go home totally off your tits, check your blood and get a positive. You’ve no counselling, no preparation or support and a head full of drugs. If there aren’t any more drugs on the table, they’re only a phone call away.
        It may not be a death sentence (@Polarity) but it’s a damned hard thing to take in and being off your nut at the time is certainly NOT the time you want to start processing it.
        Also, as it takes time for the infection to take hold, if they’re had been unsafe sex that night it’s not going to show up anyway.

        Clubs & Pubs = Alcohol & Drugs. Add the odd of mental health issue into that mix, then we’re ready for our HIV test…
        This is an ill-thought-out, terrible idea, with absolutely no regard to the consequences.


  12. My friends died in Poverty 17 Aug 2013, 7:20pm

    I havent laughed so much since Aids Charty UKC covered up for two years losing £150,000 on the 2005 Hero Awards.
    With staff claiming management got £15,000 payrises ! Their slogo was”we care do you”

  13. why only in south and why only to gay men I think it is a bit discriminatory. sure there is as much straight men who maybe contaminated by HIV. let’s hand HIV test to gay and straight men that’s it. on another point gay porn film condoms are more important than straight porn film with condoms. just be curious and browse the net and you will see by yourself

  14. Allen Jameson 23 Aug 2013, 11:59am

    Are they handing out free therapists with each kit to help people deal with this potentially damaging revelation? Handing these out to clubbers on the bank holiday weekend is like sending DIY cancer tests out to mums on mothers day. Bad idea. Has anyone thought this through?

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