HIV Testing Week in York
6:52am 27th November 2014
During the awareness week, many extra opportunities to test for HIV are being made available across Scarborough, York and North Yorkshire.
One in three HIV positive people in Europe are unaware they have HIV. It is important that people know their HIV status as a late HIV diagnosis can kill.
There are increased health benefits from knowing your HIV status. Highly effective treatment is available to people who are HIV positive and treatment of HIV reduces transmission and improves quality and length of life.
York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, City of York Council (who commission the service) and other partner organisations, including the Cambridge Centre, Yorkshire MESMAC and North Yorkshire Aids Action, have arranged for additional Point of Care Tests (POCT) to be made available during the week.
Point-of-care HIV tests are screening tests that provide immediate results on fingerstick blood specimens. Test results are available within just 20 minutes.
Point of Care Tests (POCT) will be available all week at GUM clinics across Scarborough, York and North Yorkshire. Yorkshire Mesmac will also be offering POCT in a range of outreach venues and additional sessions will be offered at the Cambridge Centre in Scarborough and North Yorkshire AIDS Action in York.
Dr Ian Fairley, Clinical Director for Sexual Health Services at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, explained:
“HIV is progressive and without treatment it can kill. However, with treatment it will allow you to live an essentially normal life. We want to make sure that people don’t die of ignorance.”
People at risk of HIV now and in the future can attend any sexual health service for a HIV test. It is routinely offered to patients attending all sexual health services.
The awareness week will culminate in World Aids Day which takes place on December 1.
Did you know?
- In 2013 there were 6,000 new HIV infections diagnosed in the UK
- One in three HIV positive people in Europe are unaware they have HIV
- HIV infections have increased by 66% since 2004 in the over 50 age group
- 42% of HIV infections in 2013 were diagnosed in heterosexuals
- Nearly 50% of new HIV diagnoses are late and made after treatment should have started.
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