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Trudie from the New Zealand AIDS Foundation talks about rapid HIV and Syphilis testing at Out in the Park.

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In a notable podcast recorded at Waitangi Park, Te Aro, Wellington, on February 24, 2018, Trudie from the New Zealand AIDS Foundation discussed the organization's initiatives during "Out in the Park." This event signified an opportunity to highlight rapid HIV and Syphilis testing, significant components in the strategy to curb HIV transmission by 2025. Trudie, representing the Awhina Centre located on Willis Street in Wellington, described the testing process as quick and relatively hassle-free, involving a minor prick of the finger to collect a sample of blood. This sample would then be used in a testing cassette while the clients could continue to enjoy the event without having to wait for their results. The protocol established by Trudie and their team was that "no news is good news," ensuring follow-ups only with clients who might require further information or those with preliminary positive results.

Recognizing the potential stress that such testing might evoke, Trudie underscored the importance of conveying reassuring information about life after diagnosis, whether that entailed living with HIV or Syphilis. For individuals unable or unprepared to test during the event, information was provided on how to book testing appointments at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation's other centers besides Wellington, located in Auckland, Christchurch, and even services catered to other regions. Hoping to promote regular testing as a part of maintaining a healthy sexual life, Trudie underlined the essential role this practice plays in eliminating new HIV infections.

Beyond advocating for HIV testing, the event and Trudie's involvement also encompassed testing for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, through their partnership with the Wellington Sexual Health Service. This initiative responded to the increasing incidence rates of syphilis, highlighting the community's need for access to testing and awareness of their sexual health status.

Trudie shared a heartfelt reflection on the significance of being present at "Out in the Park." It was described as a special and revelatory experience, as older members of the gay community approached to express the difference between the past, marked by persecution, and the present, witnessing the celebration of LGBT identities and advancements in equality. This, according to Trudie, showcased the progress New Zealand has made as a leader in equal rights and the importance of such events in bridging generational divides.

For those unable to attend the event, Trudie directed them to the organization’s website,, where testing could be booked online, and mentioned the continuation of pride events occurring throughout Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Queenstown over the following weeks.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.


Record date:24th February 2018
Interviewer:Gareth Watkins
Location:Waitangi Park, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004507).