More than 100 trained volunteers will be out and about in Croydon encouraging people to take care of their health and get tested for HIV during National HIV Testing Week (17 -24 November)
From tomorrow the council will be offering residents extra opportunities to be tested at community venues across the borough, with volunteers on street signposting people to their nearest centre. Venue locations can be found at www.StartsWithMe.org.uk
The campaign will continue locally until World Aids Day on 1 December.
One in every eight people who are HIV positive in the UK do not know that they have the virus, which means they are not accessing the support available or the treatment to protect their health and prevent HIV being passed on to anyone else.
Getting tested for HIV is a quick and confidential finger prick test, with the result available within 15 minutes. Although the number of people testing for HIV is increasing, there are still many who receive a late diagnosis by not getting tested soon enough.
Treatment now available for HIV is very effective and not only restores people to good health but also helps reduce the onward transmission of the virus.
People can also have an HIV test throughout the year at Croydon University Hospital, at GP surgeries and other clinical settings. Postal test kits can also be ordered at any time.
“National HIV Testing Week raises awareness of the importance of HIV testing, as well as increasing the opportunities to test. The week also helps to reduce stigma around HIV through encouraging more conversations and routine testing. This is an ideal opportunity for residents to make regular HIV testing part of their sexual health priorities. The test is quick and simple, and knowing your HIV status will enable you to seek early treatment if needed.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care