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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
New HIV test cuts waiting times
A test for HIV, which can give results in as little as 15 minutes, is being offered on Teesside for the first time.

Charity Teesside Positive Action is piloting the scheme, with the consultation and testing aimed to be provided within an hour.

It is in response to issues including reducing anxiety and offering the tests in a non-clinical environment.

Some people also never return to pick up their test results because they can take several weeks to be ready.

'Undiagnosed' cases

Michael Kay, service manager for the charity, said people did not have to leave the building which meant they could tackle the anxieties of those users who often failed to return for the results.

"We want to encourage people to get routinely checked. We want to reduce the undiagnosed cases of HIV in the area," he said.

The test involves a plastic spring-loaded device with a small pin which takes a small sample of blood from the finger that can be tested.

The charity has worked with the department of infection and travel medicine at James Cook University Hospital.

The tests are carried out at a room at the charity's building in Middlesbrough, from where it runs a range of other services including a helpline.

A weekly session is run between 1100 and 1600 BST on Monday when people can just show up but appointments can be made for other times.

The charity has 200 kits initially and funding for another 200 and is hoping to secure support to run the scheme beyond the pilot.

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