Friday 20 January 2017

Pantibar will offer free HIV tests to customers

Published 31/03/2016 | 02:30

Customers will be able to order a pint and a free HIV test at the popular Pantibar in Dublin from this weekend. Photo: Maura Hickey
Customers will be able to order a pint and a free HIV test at the popular Pantibar in Dublin from this weekend. Photo: Maura Hickey

Customers will be able to order a pint and a free HIV test at the popular Pantibar in Dublin from this weekend.

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The pub, run by Rory O'Neill - who performs as Ms Panti Bliss - is the first of a number of pubs and venues in Dublin, Cork and Limerick to offer the test with a turnaroud of just 30 seconds.

Rory, who is HIV positive for many years, said testing will be discreet and carried out by volunteers. "Bringing the test out of a clinic de-stigmatises it," he added.

There is concern that young men in particular under-estimate the risk of the disease, said Tiernan Brady, director of Gay HIV Strategies for the support group GLEN. Men who test positive will be referred to the health service for treatment for the disease which had been transformed over the years.

"We will do the test in the basement mostly in afternoon and evening," he said. The funding for the project was announced by acting Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD at the recent launch of Ireland's first National Sexual Health Strategy.

Information on testing is available from KnowNowIE on Facebook and from contacting GLEN, GOSSH or the Sexual Health Centre in Cork.

Irish Independent

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