Greater Manchester HIV Testing Week and WAD Vigil update
The PaSH Partnership (BHA for Equality, LGBT Foundation and George House Trust) are launching Greater Manchester HIV Testing Week, a week dedicated to HIV testing and awareness.
Greater Manchester HIV Testing Week, which runs from the 16th- 22nd November, is part of the HIV: Let’s Sort This Together Campaign, featuring local people talking about the importance of HIV testing and knowing your HIV status.
Regularly testing for HIV is one of the main ways that people can help to end new transmissions of HIV. It is estimated that 745 people in Greater Manchester are unaware that they are living with HIV. It is recommended that people with multiple sexual partners get tested every 3 - 6 months and people with one partner should test once a year.
Greater Manchester HIV Testing Week includes stories from local residents who are passionate about HIV testing including Noah, who says “Many people are anxious about testing for HIV, so it’s important to spread the message that testing is free and easy. There are lots of ways to test, including taking a tiny blood sample from your finger at home and posting it back to a lab for testing, reading the results yourself at home, and visiting a sexual health clinic. Whatever your situation, you will be able to find a test that works for you.”
The COVID-19 lockdown presented a unique opportunity for reducing HIV transmissions because of the rules surrounding mixing households. This means that anyone who contracted HIV before lockdown would now have an accurate test result and they will be able to begin free, effective treatment.
Elisabete Miranda, a HIV testing lead at BHA for Equality, emphasises the importance of regular testing, “HIV testing offers an opportunity to reduce the number of people undiagnosed as well as the number of people diagnosed late, allowing earlier access to HIV treatment. Knowing your HIV status helps people to choose options to stay healthy. Together, let’s end stigma and new transmissions of HIV.”
Testing has never been more accessible. You can now order at home HIV testing kits which just involve a quick finger prick and posting it back to the lab. You will receive your results in 2-3 weeks.
Gareth Jones, Sexual Health Testing Coordinator at LGBT Foundation said, “Testing and knowing your HIV status means you can keep yourself and your partners safe, whether that is knowing that you are not living with HIV or knowing you are so you can begin effective treatment and become undetectable so you can’t pass it on.”
Greater Manchester HIV Testing Week starts on 16th November. In addition, Public Health England (PHE) and HIV Prevention England will run National HIV Testing Week 2020 from Monday 1 February 2021.
You can order an at home testing kit today via the link belowRead More