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Doctors offer free HIV tests in bars
Doctors have recently started going to bars and cafes providing saliva tests to detect HIV among people from high-risk groups, De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad report. Staff from Antwerp’s Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) offer the free service in bars and cafes very frequented by homosexuals and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, two groups that are particularly vulnerable to HIV. About 270 people have had their saliva tested; the HIV virus was detected in 16 of them. Participants can get the test results via a website, and no longer need to go and see a doctor – a move which partly explains the success of the scheme. "Those who are afraid of being infected with HIV do not always want to discuss it with their doctor,” says Tom Platteau, sexologist at the IMT and project coordinator. “This is one reason why many people do not get tested. As a result, many people with HIV do not receive the adequate treatment, and risk infecting others. "