Get checked during HIV Testing Week

Published: Monday 10th November 14

During National HIV Testing Week from Nov 22 to Nov 30 you can get a free, fast and confidential HIV test with results within 15 minutes.

You can find out where and when you can get yourself tested at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/HIVtestingweek. To find services in other parts of south west London, visit www.swishproject.org.uk.  

The council’s public health department is supporting the ‘It Starts With Me” campaign running across the UK during the week. It encourages people to take personal responsibility in the drive to reduce new infections through more testing.

In particular, adults who have engaged in unprotected sex or are involved in risky behaviour such as injecting illicit drugs are strongly encouraged to take up the HIV test.

Wandsworth Director of Public Health Houda Al-Sharifi said,

“This is an important opportunity to get tested for HIV. Many people are put off testing and are scared about waiting for results. With our new fast, free and confidential tests we can give you your results in 15 minutes, making it far less stressful.”

It is important to test and to know your status. If the test result shows that you have HIV, you will receive full support and all the treatment needed to manage the condition. Testing early not only prolongs life, but also makes it far less likely that the virus will be transmitted to others.

The testing centres are open weekdays, evenings and weekends from Saturday November 22 to Sunday November 30. The test is a simple finger prick blood test carried out by trained staff.

Public Health England has reported that there are around 22,000 people in the UK who are unaware that they have an HIV infection, and people who are diagnosed late are ten times more likely to die prematurely. However, once someone knows they have an HIV infection they can take control of their health and get treatment.

London has some of the highest rates of HIV infection in England and Wandsworth’s public health team is committed to supporting its residents to help get the numbers down.

If you have any questions, you can email sexualhealth@wandsworth.gov.uk in confidence.

Notes to Editors:

HIV Testing week is run nationally by HIV Prevention England.

SWISH.nhs.uk is the South West London Sexual Health Service website. It is where local HIV testing opportunities across SWL can be found during HIV Testing week and beyond.

SWISH is part of SWAGNET which is funded by the boroughs of Croydon, Merton, Sutton, Richmond, Wandsworth and Kingston.

World AIDS Day is on December 1. For local events information please contact sexualhealth@wandsworth.gov.uk 

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