National HIV Testing Week 18th to 25th November
Last week I took a public HIV test in an effort to encourage more local people to test for the virus during National HIV Testing Week. I had a simple finger-prick blood test and my negative result was delivered in under 15 minutes after the test.
New figures released by Public Health England in October 2017 revealed that a decline in new HIV infections but late diagnoses remain high. Organised by Terrence Higgins Trust and Staffordshire Buddies, I met volunteers and staff to discuss the importance of normalising testing and busting stigma.
National HIV Testing Week, which runs from 18th to 25th November, is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England. The week encourages people to take a painless, simple and quick HIV test, particularly those from the groups most at-risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men and black African communities.
Local HIV testing events are taking place across the city during the week, local staff and volunteers from Staffordshire Buddies will be on hand to explain more about HIV and maintaining good sexual health.
I was delighted to meet with the Terrence Higgins Trust and Staffordshire Buddies in Stoke and raise awareness of the importance of testing for HIV. As I found out today by taking a test – testing is free, fast and simple, and it’s one of the best weapons we have to stop the spread of HIV.
You can find out more about National HIV Testing Week at www.startswithme.org.uk