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Give HIV the finger for National HIV Testing Week

Give HIV the fingerTags Adults , Council , Family , Residents , Teenagers

Next week marks National HIV Testing Week and Barking and Dagenham residents are being encouraged to take the opportunity to have a free, confidential HIV test.

 

National HIV Testing Week runs from Saturday 17 November and is a campaign to promote regular sexual health testing.

 

HIV can be transmitted by sexual contact, sharing needles and from mother to baby, but with an early diagnosis and effective treatment HIV is a manageable condition. 

 

People with HIV can live a normal life and achieve an undetectable viral load, which means they will no longer pass on the HIV virus. Regular testing and effective treatments means new diagnoses of HIV have been falling in London in recent years.  

 

Residents will have the opportunity to have a free, confidential test at Barking Learning Centre (BLC) on Thursday 22 November with Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust and at the Town Hall on Friday 23 November from 10am to 4pm with Positive East. Participants will get their results straight away.

 

The C-Card trailer will also be outside the BLC on the Thursday with representatives from Subwize, the young people’s substance misuse service offering advice and support. 

 

"Early diagnosis is also key, so if you have any concerns or questions do attend for a quick confidential test or chat with a sexual health professional."

 

In the UK, 13 per cent of people with HIV are unaware of their status, and around half of the diagnoses in Barking and Dagenham arrive at a late stage.

 

Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration said: "In London new cases of HIV have fallen in recent years, and regular sexual health testing has been important for achieving this.

 

"Early diagnosis is also key, so if you have any concerns or questions do attend for a quick confidential test or chat with a sexual health professional."

 

Residents must be over 16 to take the test on the Thursday but over 18 on the Friday, however, they don’t need to be registered with a GP.

 

For more information on HIV, visit www.lbbd.gov.uk/hiv-and-aids

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