National HIV Testing Week - which starts on Saturday - is co-ordinated by HIV Prevention England (HPE) and promotes the benefits of regular testing and treatment for both the individual and community.
Our CEO Owen Williams took the opportunity to have a test carried out by our GUM consultant Lindsay Short. He said: “If you go to the National HIV Testing Week website it makes the point of asking us to ‘Give HIV the finger’. The central point to this is that a simple finger-prick test could make the difference somebody’s life and therefore I’m glad that we are playing our part in getting the message out there.”
Lindsay, who took Owen's test, said: " HIV is a treatable condition and you can live a normal lifespan with treatment, It’s good to know. It’s not just good for your health but also for others. Take a test and help the fight against HIV.”
The week raises awareness of the importance of HIV testing, as well as increasing opportunities to tested – be it in clinical settings, in primary care, through community-based rapid testing or via postal testing.
If a test reacted you would be fast tracked into the local HIV service. HIV is a treatable condition. Lindsay, added: "Treatment allows you to live a normal lifespan. You can work, travel, have children It keeps you well and others safe. "
This year, the event starts on Saturday 18 November.
Last year hundreds of clinics and organisations participated by raising awareness, providing extra testing opportunities and promoting services – with many using the free and customisable printed and digital resources provided by HIV Prevention England.