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National HIV Testing Week takes place from 16 to 22 November in Harlow

Education: Secondary / Tue 12th Nov 2019 pm30 03:42pm

NATIONAL HIV Testing Week takes place from 16 to 23 November and is run by Terrence Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England (HPE).

The week encourages people be tested for HIV, particularly those from the most at-risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and black African men and women.

This year, the campaign is calling on people to ‘Give HIV the finger’ by taking a simple, painless and quick finger prick HIV test.

Terrence Higgins Trust, the UKs leading HIV and sexual health charity, will be offering people the chance to get tested by providing free, confidential rapid HIV testing across Essex.

Testing for HIV puts you in control and, thanks to treatment, will stop you from getting seriously ill, enable you to live a normal lifespan and prevent you from passing the virus on to anyone else.

New advances in testing make it easier than ever before, allowing people to receive their result in under a minute, using a simple finger prick test.

Clinics are held at discreet centres, and for those that do not wish to see someone face to face, the option of ordering a free home sampling kit.

Terrence Higgins Trust will have an information stand at Asda Watergardens Superstore 11 am-4.00pm on Monday 18 November giving information to the general public about HIV, prevention and the advances in medication.

They will also be offering confidential finger prick testing and free condoms and lubricant at the Citizens Advice Centre, Harlow during this time.

Terrence Higgins Trust runs a weekly drop in clinic at Harlow Citizens Advice every Monday from 12.00-4.00pm where people can also take a simple and confidential finger prick test.

Sophie Milner, Service Manager, Terrence Higgins Trust said: “We’re really excited about National HIV Testing Week as it enables us to raise awareness of the benefits of testing, and expand opportunities for testing locally.

“Today, if you test positive, effective treatment means you can live as long as anyone else, and when the amount of the virus in your blood is reduced to undetectable levels, this means you cannot pass on HIV. Testing puts you in control and is nothing to be feared.”

Essex residents can also access the Essex Sexual Health Service ‘Test at Home’ system for HIV. It can be ordered online from the Essex Sexual Health Service website (see below).

’Test at Home’ is also available for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. The results are sent by text. Additionally you can test for HIV at Essex Sexual Health Service clinics across the county.

Find out more about National HIV Testing Week at www.startswithme.org.uk

For more information about sexual health or to book an appointment for testing please visit www.eshs.org.uk or phone 0300 003 1212. For information regarding rapid testing contact [email protected]

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