270 HIV Tests in National Testing Week 2015

Herts Aid tested more than 270 people for HIV in HIV National Testing Week 2015

Herts Aid urged people in Hertfordshire to test for HIV during this year’s National HIV Testing Week which started on 21st November 2015.

We offered free ‘finger prick’ HIV testing in GP surgeries, pharmacies, colleges, University of Hertfordshire, Homeless shelters, Churches and community venues over the course of the week to raise awareness of HIV and increase local testing.

Currently, 18100 people in the UK have HIV but don’t know it. The majority of new infections are as a result of these individuals passing the virus on. At the moment, 49.5% of those newly diagnosed with HIV in Hertfordshire are diagnosed late, when the virus is already affecting their immune system. However, people who are diagnosed with HIV promptly can now expect a near normal life span due to advances in treatments for the condition.

Suzanne Bannister, Director of Herts Aid said: “We are delighted that so many people across Hertfordshire took the opportunity to have an HIV test during HIV testing week and now know their HIV status. This national campaign is vital to raise awareness about HIV, the importance of regular testing and the effectiveness of HIV treatment available today”.

Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council said “It is great news that so many people have come forward for HIV tests during national HIV testing week. Herts Aid has done a lot of great work to support the national campaign and I am delighted that they and other partners are supporting Hertfordshire County Council to improve the sexual health of local residents.”

The groups most affected by HIV in the UK are gay men (44 980 living with HIV) and the African community (29 965 living with HIV), but HIV can affect anyone and the virus does not discriminate. If you have ever put yourself at risk through unprotected sex, it is worth having a test. Herts Aid works to challenge the stigma surrounding HIV and making testing more easily accessible and visible in the community helps. It should be seen as a health check like any other.

Herts Aid has offices in Ware and Watford and offers free HIV tests throughout the year. If you’d like to speak to anyone about HIV or sexual health, or you’d like to take an HIV test please call 01920 484784 or email admin@hertsaid.co.uk to arrange an appointment.