Glasgow to host weekly 20-minute HIV clinic for gay & bisexual men

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Sexual health service Sandyford and Scottish charity Gay Men’s Health have partnered up to launch a drop-in health check-up for gay and bisexual men in Glasgow.

The clinic will run on Thursdays at the Merchant Centre and will be able to provide HIV and syphilis results in 20 minutes, using tests on blood drawn from the finger.

An estimated 4,315 people are living with HIV in Scotland. With unprotected sex amongst men accounting for the highest rate of new diagnoses, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) say they hope the clinic will help combat the spread of the fatal virus.

Sexual health improvement officer Nicky Coia said, “We wanted to open up choice to men who might find it more difficult of go through the process of booking an appointment and having to wait for test results. The biggest barrier for gay and bisexual men in regards to testing for HIV is the fear of a positive result. So anything we can do to reduce that level of fear is really important.”

He added, “With this new service, and also the Terrence Higgins Trust community testing which recently launched, both models make sure that people have a clear pathway to NHS services that are already in place.”

In December, London’s G-A-Y Bar smashed the record for the highest number of people tested for HIV on World AIDS Day when they administered 745 tests in eight hours.

Earlier this month, a report in the Lancet linked crystal meth use to rising HIV transmissions among gay and bisexual men.

The drop-in will be open 16:30 to 19:30 on Thursdays at the Gay Men’s Health Office in Bell Street, Merchant Centre, Glasgow.