Well if you’ve made a phone call to someone who speaks Italian, “Pronto!” instead of “Hello” might be the first word you hear when that person answers the phone. Or if a Spanish speaker like myself tells you: “Hasta pronto” means “See you soon”. If a Portuguese friend wants to let you know he is ready then an ‘estou pronto’ would be heard. will tell us that ‘pronto’ was borrowed from the Spanish language around 1840 or 50’s and in English means: quickly or promptly.

If we take into consideration that the word ‘pronto’ in different languages is related to ‘short time’ then it makes a lot of sense that in mid August a community based HIV testing site will be opening and yes you guessed it, it will be named: PRONTO!

We know there are ways to dramatically reduce the transmission of HIV, but before we even contemplate adopting other risk reduction techniques (along with using condoms and water based lube), we actually have to be absolutely sure about our own HIV status. The only way to do that is by testing and as we always say the more sexual partners that you have, the more frequently you should go for testing.

With the opening of PRONTO! There will be a new alternative for guys that will make getting an HIV test simpler. When PRONTO! opens you will be able to go there for an HIV screening and you’ll be able to get an HIV test result on the same day. Located centrally,  the service will have convenient opening hours and will be entirely free.  And there will be free Wi-Fi too! All told, your appointment, including receiving your results will take no more than 30 minutes. How’s that for speedy?

As it is a community based site, there will be Test Facilitators. These will be peers who are members of the gay community who have been extensively trained in conducting and reading rapid HIV tests. The standards of PRONTO! will be extremely high and of course, confidentiality will be utterly paramount.

We hope that PRONTO! will be made available for the LGBTI community to use as a venue for a variety of needs. PRONTO! is uniquely housed in an industrial heritage building and it is hoped that it will  provide a different kind of environment for the community. The more we use the space as a proud community the more we can normalize HIV testing, fight HIV stigma and homophobia.

Keep an eye out for details on the opening of the service. It’s coming, PRONTO!

UPDATE: PRONTO! is now open. Visit the PRONTO! website for more information and to make an appointment



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