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HIV Testing Week (21-28 November 2015)
Click here to find out more about HIV Testing Week 2015 and to find out when and where you can get tested.
Saturday marks the start of HIV Testing Week, a national awareness week, which aims to encourage people to get tested for HIV.
During the awareness week, many extra opportunities to test for HIV are being made available across York and North Yorkshire .
At the majority of YorSexualHealth clinics (with the exception of Harewood, Settle, Leyburn, Thirsk and our smaller Satellite clinics) you will be able to take a quick point-of-care test, which will give you your results within just 30 minutes. YorSexualHealth runs 27 clinics each week across the whole of York and North Yorkshire.
YorSexualHealth’s Community Outreach Team, MESMAC, will also provide additional Point of Care testing opportunities throughout the week in various locations across York and North Yorkshire.
Our Positive Support Team NYAA will also be offering testing at the North Yorkshire Aids Action Office in York, all day on Tuesday or Thursday (or by appointment at other times during the week).
Throughout November and December free online HIV home tests are also available. Funded through Public Health England up until 1 Jan 2016 any gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, and Black African men and women, 16 years and over will be able to order a HIV sampling kit online and have it delivered to their address in England. With the kit, a person can take a simple finger prick blood test and send it back to a laboratory for results and referral to local confidential clinical and support services should this be required. The tests are provided by Test.HIV and can be ordered online by clicking here.
In the New Year YorSexualHealth will launch its own online testing service for HIV and Syphilis - making it even easier for people living in York and North Yorkshire to take a HIV test.
Dr Ian Fairley, Clinical Director for Sexual Health Services at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “There are over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK and around a quarter of them don’t know they’re HIV positive.
“HIV is a treatable condition and no longer a terminal illness. Knowing whether or not you’re HIV positive is essential so that you can access specialist HIV services and HIV treatment.
“Effective HIV therapy not only keeps the individual well but it also prevents them from passing the virus onto others. If someone with HIV is diagnosed early and is able to access treatment then their life expectancy is as good as if they were HIV negative.
“While we don’t have a high prevalence of HIV in North Yorkshire it is still important that people take the opportunity to get tested as anyone who has unprotected sex could be at risk.”
Liz Hare, Partnership and Communications Lead for YorSexualHealth, said: “Last year during HIV Testing Week, thanks to increased awareness and additional testing opportunities, we saw an increase in the uptake of testing which resulted in an increase in positive results.
“While we offer HIV testing all year round as part of our integrated sexual health service, we will be offering the quick point of care testing at most of our clinics and additional outreach clinics throughout HIV Testing Week, being able to take a test and get your results back within 30 minutes, may encourage more people to come and take a quick test.
“It is great that national online testing is also being made available through NHS England. We will be launching our own scheme in the New Year. This option may suit many people, who for whatever reason may prefer to request a kit online and take the test at home rather than coming into a clinic.”
People at risk of HIV now and in the future can attend any YorSexualHealth service for a HIV test. It is routinely offered to patients attending all sexual health services.
To find out about HIV click here or to find our where you can get tested or to request a test online visit YorSexualHealth's clinics and services page or call the booking and information line on 01904 721111.
*The clinics that will not be able to offer POCTs are:
- Catterick ITC
- York College
- East Coast College
20 November 2015