Give HIV the Finger 2018
Give HIV the Finger
Give HIV the Finger during National HIV Testing Week 2018. The national HIV Testing Week campaign promotes that a finger prick test is all it takes to test. Locally, the team at Thames Valley Positive Support (TVPS), in partnership with Reading Borough Council and the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, are now urging local residents to get involved and get tested.
Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health, said: “HIV Testing Week is a reminder that early testing protects lives. By commissioning and delivering HIV testing services, and raising awareness of the importance of HIV testing, the Council hopes to significantly reduce the number of late diagnoses.”
The sooner someone with HIV starts treatment, the better it is for their health. Treatment has been shown to reduce the amount of HIV in the body to levels at which HIV cannot be passed on. People whose HIV infection is diagnosed late will have a much weaker immune system, meaning they are more susceptible to suffering from other health complications as a result. Those with an undiagnosed HIV infection are at greater risk of passing the virus on through unprotected sex.
Cllr Hoskin added: “I would urge anyone who thinks they may have been at risk in the past to access the discreet testing services available as soon as possible. People can access free, confidential help and advice from the new Safe Sex Berkshire website www.safesexberkshire.nhs.uk or by visiting www.timetotest.org.uk ”
The Safe Sex Berkshire website www.safesexberkshire.nhs.uk offers advice, support and accessible information. It covers sexual and reproductive health in Berkshire, providing information and advice, locations and opening times of local services all in one place.
TVPS is raising awareness about HIV and HIV testing throughout Berkshire and offering free, rapid HIV testing in the day time and evenings for National HIV Testing Week in Reading. They also offer an anonymous live chat service through their website, where you can access advice and information about HIV and HIV testing.
Sarah Macadam, CEO at TVPS, said: “It really is vital that as many people as possible test for HIV and know their status, so they can protect themselves and their partners. Here at TVPS we offer free, rapid, HIV testing in a discreet venue and you will receive your results at your appointment. We’re also here for you to talk through any questions or concerns you may have.”
She went on to say: “With so many different ways to test, there is no excuse not to. Get involved and help us give HIV the finger!”
People can get a free HIV test in a number of ways:
· By going to a local sexual health clinic, such as the Florey Unit www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/florey-sexualhealth.htm You can find other clinics at www.safesexberkshire.nhs.uk/local-services/all-clinics Clinics are free, confidential, non-judgmental and very used to helping people with sexual health issues regardless of age gender or sexuality.
· By asking their GP for an HIV test – nowadays there is no need for lengthy discussion about the test, it just involves a simple blood test.
· Pop along to one of the clinics or request a test from Thames Valley Positive Support. For more information about booking an HIV test, email email@example.com or call 01628 603400 or visit www.timetotest.org.uk
National HIV Testing Week
National HIV Testing Week, which starts on 17 November, is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England. The week encourages people to take a painless, simple and quick test, particularly those most at-risk of HIV.
For more information about National HIV Testing Week, go to: www.startswithme.org.uk