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Young urged to use "quick" HIV test

Teenagers in Manchester have been encouraged to take advantage of a new HIV test which will reveal whether or not they are infected in just half an hour.

Sexual health charity Brook is offering people under the age of 19 the finger prick tests at its clinic in Commonwealth House in Manchester.

The new project has been launched to try to encourage young people to take more responsibility for their sexual health.

And the group hopes that the tests will be popular, because as well as being quicker than traditional blood tests, which can take up to a week to be analysed, they are less intrusive.

Stephanie Mallas, director of Brook Manchester, believes that there could be more than 20,000 people with HIV in the UK who have not yet been diagnosed.

She said: "We expect the take-up of the new tests to be high as young people are particularly worried about blood tests.

"Nationally there were 745 new diagnoses of HIV infection in young people in 2006 - 11% of all new HIV diagnoses.

"Whilst young people are not one of the higher risk groups for HIV, anyone who has had unprotected sex is at risk and should be getting checked out."

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"I hate going to the GUM because it is in a horrible location in the hospital and usually wait ages to be seen. This is such a good idea and hopefully will be rolled out across the board" - Gary, Liverpool