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Let’s make HIV testing normal this National HIV Testing Week

Published Tuesday, 8th February 2022

National HIV Testing Week is back on Monday 7 February 2022 until Sunday 13 February.

National HIV Testing Week is a great opportunity for you to get tested and encourage others to do the same.

Regular HIV testing benefits everyone. People can live with HIV for a long time without any symptoms. Testing is the only way to know your HIV status.

Finding out sooner means that you can start treatment, stay healthy and avoid passing the virus on to anyone else.

Most people will get a negative result but whatever happens, it’s important to know that anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment and support.

Regular HIV testing helps to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV. This is vital as nationally 1 in 20 people with HIV are unaware they have it, increasing the risk of passing it on to sexual partners.

Councillor Karen May, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said, “Since the pandemic we have all become used to testing for COVID-19.  Why should our attitude to testing for sexually transmitted diseases be any different? It’s a sensible approach to staying healthy, in addition to practising safe sex.

Testing week is vital as we work towards ending new cases of HIV by 2030. Together we can get one step closer to this ambitious but achievable goal through normalising and promoting HIV testing.”

Nationally 42% of people diagnosed with HIV in 2020 were diagnosed late. At this point, the virus has already started to damage their immune system. In 2019, people diagnosed late had more than a seven times increased risk of dying within a year of diagnosis. Regular HIV testing can help us reduce the number of people who have a late diagnosis.

It’s very easy to get an HIV test and to get a result quickly. There are many ways to test – at a sexual health clinic, your GP, through HIV and sexual health charities or by ordering a test online.

To get your free HIV test at home go to the Starts With Me website.

Find out more about Worcestershire sexual health services on the Health and Care Trust website.