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Get Tested During HIV Awareness Week

Monday marks the start of HIV Testing Week, a European-wide awareness week, which aims to encourage people to ‘Talk HIV Test HIV.’

During the awareness week, many extra opportunities to test for HIV are being made available across Scarborough, York and North Yorkshire.

One in three HIV positive people in Europe are unaware they have HIV. It is important that people know their HIV status as a late HIV diagnosis can kill.

There are increased health benefits from knowing your HIV status. Highly effective treatment is available to people who are HIV positive and treatment of HIV reduces transmission and improves quality and length of life.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, City of York Council (who commission the service) and other partner organisations, including the Cambridge Centre, Yorkshire  MESMAC and North Yorkshire Aids Action, have arranged for additional Point of Care Tests (POCT) to be made available during the week.

Point-of-care HIV tests are screening tests that provide immediate results on fingerstick blood specimens. Test results are available within just 20 minutes.

Point of Care Tests (POCT) will be available all week at GUM clinics across Scarborough, York and North Yorkshire.  Yorkshire Mesmac will also be offering POCT in a range of outreach venues and additional sessions will be offered at the Cambridge Centre in Scarborough and North Yorkshire AIDS Action in York.  

Yorsexualhealth, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Health Hub, will be hosting an awareness stand in the main entrance at York Hospital throughout the week. The stand will be manned by Yorsexualhealth staff between 11am and 1pm each day who will be available to answer any questions.   

Dr Ian Fairley, Clinical Director for Sexual Health Services at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “HIV is progressive and without treatment it can kill.  However, with treatment it will allow you to live an essentially normal life.  We want to make sure that people don’t die of ignorance.” 

People at risk of HIV now and in the future can attend any sexual health service for a HIV test.  It is routinely offered to patients attending all sexual health services.

To find out about where to get tested visit www.yorsexualhealth.org.uk. You can also call the central booking line on 01904 721111 (between 8.30am and 6.30pm).

The awareness week will culminate in World Aids Day which takes place on December 1.

Did you know?

  • In 2013 there were 6,000 new HIV infections diagnosed in the UK
  • One in three HIV positive people in Europe are unaware they have HIV
  • HIV infections have increased by 66% since 2004 in the over 50 age group
  • 42% of HIV infections in 2013 were diagnosed in heterosexuals
  • Nearly 50% of new HIV diagnoses are late and made after treatment should have started.

Photo Caption: HIV Testing Chapion Rebecca Carr, carries out a point of care test.

24 November 2014

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To find out about where to get tested click here.

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