Give HIV the finger: a finger-prick test is all it takes

Published: 12 November 2019

With National HIV Testing Week approaching, the council is encouraging residents to know their HIV status.

HIV is still a public health issue in London, with Redbridge having a high number of people diagnosed at later stages of the infection.  National HIV Testing Week (16-22 November) is a national campaign to encourage regular testing among the most-affected population groups, aiming to reduce the rate of undiagnosed people and those who are diagnosed late. 

You can only be certain you have HIV by taking a test.  An early test helps you to ensure you are treated early, get the support you need, avoid becoming ill and prevent the infection being passed to others.  You will also have a much better chance of living longer.

This year, the council through its partner Positive East will be hosting a series of events that will allow residents to get rapid confidential HIV tests with results in less than 60 seconds, alongside key health and HIV prevention messages. 

Gladys Xavier, Redbridge Council’s director for Public Health said: “Knowing your HIV status could save your life and others.  It is proven that people who are HIV positive and take the right medication can live as long as someone of a similar age and background.  If you are HIV positive, on treatment and have a suppressed viral load you cannot pass HIV on to your sexual partners, so I urge you to get tested.”

For other ways to get free and confidential HIV testing and advice, head to www.freetesting.hiv or book an appointment at Outpatients East, Barking Hospital by calling 0208 924 6674 or go online.

For further information head to our website or for more details about the campaign go to www.hivpreventionengland.org.uk.

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