This week (Feb 6-12) is National HIV Testing Week – a campaign to promote regular testing among the most-affected population groups in England.
This year, the focus of the campaign is ‘I Test’ – encouraging people to order a self-sampling kit for HIV and syphilis from the national HIV self-sampling service.
The Department of Health and Social Care will cover the costs of the self-sampling and self-test kits, meaning that residents in England will be able to access a free online test.
Susie Brice, Sexual Health Adviser with the Sexual Health Team at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Regular testing helps to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV and those diagnosed late.
“This National HIV Testing Week we want to break the stigma around testing for HIV by encouraging everyone to claim their status.
“Testing for HIV puts you in control of your health and thanks to treatment, means you can live a healthy life.
“Testing for HIV is also useful for HIV-negative people who are considering interventions such as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).”
** If you would like an appointment or advice around HIV testing or other sexual health related concerns contact 01228 608989 Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online. Please do not attend our clinics if you do not have an appointment. **
· Testing for HIV is quick and easy as well as the ‘I test’ you can also book a quick blood test in one of NCIC’s sexual health clinics.
· People can live with HIV for a long time without any symptoms, testing is the only way to know your HIV status.
· If you have HIV, finding out means you can start treatment, stay healthy and avoid passing the virus on to anyone else.
· There are many ways to test – at a sexual health clinic, your GP, through HIV and sexual health charities or by ordering a test online.
· Anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment and support.
UKHSA: gov.uk/government/collections/ hiv-surveillance-data-and-management