A world first for the B RIGHT ON LGBT+ Community Festival – Brighton & Hove become the first city in the world to have a mobile Digital Vending Machine distributing HIV self-tests.
THE machine will be launched by the Martin Fisher Foundation at the third annual B RIGHT ON LGBT+ Community Festival when it opens on Thursday, March 28 in the Phil Starr Pavilion on Victoria Gardens.
The touch-screen machine won the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Innovations Award in 2018 and has been distributing HIV self-tests in Brighton since 2017, making HIV testing across the city easier than ever.
The Martin Fisher Foundation, as part of the Brighton & Hove Fast Track City Initiative, aims to move towards ZERO new HIV infections by 2025. In order to achieve this it is important that all people living with HIV know their status and are able to start early effective treatment. Treatment results in undetectable levels of HIV in the bloodstream and therefore the virus can’t be passed on.
The HIV self-tests available through the machine use a single drop of blood and are 99.7% accurate. Reactive test results always need confirming at a sexual health clinic; negative results are reassuring, but it’s important to understand that very recent HIV infection (within the last 3 months) may not be detected and people should re-test every 3 months if at ongoing risk of acquiring HIV.