herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Panti welcomes HIV tests to north city nightspot

Tiernan Brady of Glen with Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss (Pic: Maura Hickey)
Tiernan Brady of Glen with Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss (Pic: Maura Hickey)

Gay rights campaigner Rory O'Neill has welcomed the launch of the country's first free rapid HIV testing programme.

The testing service, launched by Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen), will be provided by a team of community volunteers in a variety of non-clinical venues, including O'Neill's own Pantibar on Capel Street, where the clinic will operate outside opening hours.

O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss, has been HIV positive for 20 years.

Status

He said that the initiative should make testing more available.

"I got involved because the most important thing for people is to know their status," O'Neill told the Herald.

"I think a lot of people are put off by having to go to a clinic, so this makes it much easier and encourages more people to get tested."

There has been plenty of good news for O'Neill after he was nominated for Time Magazine's most influential person of 2016.

However, the Mayo performer said he has no expectations of being invited to the glitzy bash in New York.

"I am sure I will drop to the bottom of the list. I would be delighted even to be invited to the gala," he said.

Information on times and locations for testing is available from KnownowIE on Facebook

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