National HIV Testing Week kicked off last week Saturday (17 November) with a focus on providing easy access to free and confidential HIV testing locally.
Working in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, communities will have access to a range of events this week and the week leading up to World AIDS Day (1 Dec).
The week encourages people to test for HIV, particularly those from the groups most affected by HIV, including gay and bisexual men and black African men and women.
This year, the campaign is calling on people to ‘Give HIV the finger’ by taking a simple, painless and quick finger prick HIV test.
According to Public Health England: In 2017, 43.1% of Norfolk residents received a late HIV diagnosis. Neil Howard, Norfolk Service Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Testing for HIV is quick and easy. If your results come back positive, we will ensure that you receive all the support, advice and information you need and refer you to iCaSH Norfolk services with with whom we work in close partnership.
"People living with HIV and on effective treatment can not only live long fulfilled lives after, but they also can’t pass on the virus to others. Testing is nothing to be feared or embarrassed about. Getting tested regularly should be something we’re all doing in order to protect ourselves."
Residents in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk can also access HIV testing online by ordering a free and confidential iCaSH Express Test postal kit, sent directly to your home (or address of your choice) in discreet packaging. For more information please visit our Express Test Page. Alternatively if you live in Peterborough please visit www.test.hiv.
Mike Passfield, Head of integrated Contraception and Sexual health (iCaSH) services, said: ‘Looking after your sexual health is important because you can protect yourself and others against infection. The test is free, fast and simple, and is one of the best ways to stop the spread of HIV. Testing puts you in control, so why not take a test today?
"iCaSH, in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust, is always looking for innovative ways to meet the needs of our patients. iCaSH Express Test is a free, quick and easy way to access an online test for sexually transmitted infections.’
For more information about National HIV Testing Week, go to: www.startswithme.org.uk