Press Release – New Zealand AIDS Foundation
After a shaky 2011 with two temporary relocations for the New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s (NZAF) Christchurch services, NZAF South/Te Toka is starting 2012 in a fantastic, new and central location.24 January 2012
New Community HQ for NZAF South/Te Toka
Christchurch – After a shaky 2011 with two temporary relocations for the New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s (NZAF) Christchurch services, NZAF South/Te Toka is starting 2012 in a fantastic, new and central location. The new site is large enough to host community meetings and events which was not possible in the temporary offices that NZAF South/Te Toka had following the February 2011 earthquake.
The new premises will house NZAF South/Te Toka permanently and is expected to become a hub for community members. Shaun Robinson, NZAF Executive Director, says “The new regional centre will provide a central and welcoming space for community members, in particular the rainbow and African communities and we’re looking forward to welcoming people back.”
NZAF South/Te Toka is the only place in Canterbury that provides free HIV, syphilis and Hep C rapid-testing that provides a result in ten minutes. All testing is carried out by qualified and professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are there to provide support for both positive and negative diagnoses.
Robinson says this service fills a gap in existing public health services. “Canterbury Sexual Health do a fantastic job working with everyone for any kind of sexual health need. But being smaller and community based means that NZAF South/Te Toka can provide specialist services; for example our HIV test takes a drop of blood from a fingertip and is tested during the appointment instead of drawing a blood sample and then sending it off to a lab which means results can take up to a week to receive. We also provide free, confidential and professional counselling and psychotherapy which is a real asset for gay and bisexual men who want to speak to a counsellor from their communities, or for people who want to discuss their sexual health needs and get some support”.
From Monday, 23 January 2012, NZAF South/Te Toka will be located upstairs at 253 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central. Parking for NZAF clients and visitors attending the centre is available at the back of the building.
NZAF South/Te Toka will host an open house event after the move for community members to visit and familiarise themselves with the new premises. Details of the event will be confirmed as soon as possible.