SSHA CONFERENCE 2013
“Testing Times” won the “Success in Partnership Working” category due to its close partnership working with Leeds Centre for Sexual Health delivering HIV testing services in non-clinical settings.
In 2006, Yorkshire MESMAC launched the “Testing Times” service, to provide Chlamydia/Gonorrhoea tests and then rapid HIV testing in Leeds in response to feedback from service users who wanted to access HIV/STI testing. We are proud to be the only sexual health charity in the UK who delivers free, rapid HIV testing regular sessions in LGB&T bars responding to service user demands. Registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ensures exceptional service user care and quality control. The House of Lords Select Committee on HIV & AIDS in the UK issued its national “No vaccine, no cure: HIV and AIDS in the United Kingdom” report in 2011; in which Yorkshire MESMAC was highly commended for its work on HIV prevention, citing it has been “integral to local prevention, testing and support strategies. This work must continue to be supported.”
Tom Hunt, Community Development Worker for Yorkshire MESMAC Leeds, will be discussing the history of the Testing Times service, its long standing partnership working with all organisations involved including LGB&T venues and other sites, how it is complementary to existing GUM services and how it effectively targets hard to reach and most at risk populations.
Tom Hunt – (Community Development Worker – Yorkshire MESMAC)
Tom is a Community Development Worker for Yorkshire MESMAC, has worked in HIV prevention charity work with the Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) communities in Leeds for nearly six years. As part of Yorkshire MESMAC, he delivers a range of services such as community HIV testing in LGB&T venues and other non-clinical settings, 1 to 1 support including motivational interviewing, social support group development, training for service users and professionals on issues covering confidence, assertive confrontation and gay sex education, developing pioneering HIV resources such as African language audio resources about HIV, campaigns such as HIV Prevention England interventions and condom distribution in order to provide local MSM with the skills and resources to reduce their risk of getting infected with HIV and other STIs.