Drop-in sessions for National HIV Testing Week

Published Monday, 19th November 2018
HIV test
Testing for HIV is quick and easy.

National HIV Testing Week starts on Saturday 17 November 2018 and Rotherham Council is teaming up with Rotherham’s Integrated Sexual Health Service to encourage people to get tested.

National HIV Testing Week is a flagship campaign to encourage testing and therefore reduce the number of people that are undiagnosed or diagnosed at a late stage of infection. 

The Integrated Sexual Health team at Rotherham Hospital are holding events to raise awareness and encourage testing during the week. There will be a stall in the hospital’s main entrance on Tuesday 20 November to promote National HIV Testing Week and to answer any questions anyone may have. They will also be holding a bake sale to raise money for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity and the HIV awareness charity “Saving Lives UK”. In addition, on 20 November the team will be offering free confidential HIV testing with immediate results in the Sexual Health clinic on C level of the hospital. 

The team will have a stall to raise awareness near the café at Riverside House in Rotherham town centre on 30 November where they will be offering HIV testing and will be available to answer any questions the general public may have about HIV. 

Nadi Gupta, Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is really important to encourage all sexually active people of all ages to get tested for HIV. The treatment has revolutionised the prognosis. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that people living with HIV, who continue to take their treatment consistently, cannot transmit HIV to a sexual partner. So it is definitely worth getting tested. The HIV test is quick and simple; either a simple blood test from a vein or you can have a test from a fingertip if you prefer an immediate result.”

Cllr David Roche, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health said: “It’s really important that people take care of their health, and a simple test can help protect you and your partner. Treatment for HIV is very effective now, making it a manageable illness with normal life expectancy, especially with an early diagnosis. So I’m really pleased that the Integrated Sexual Health team are not only raising awareness and answering questions next week, but that they will be offering testing at their two drop-in stalls at the hospital and in Riverside House, giving easy access to a quick and easy test that could help people immeasurably.”

In the UK there are over 10,000 people living with an undiagnosed HIV infection and late diagnosis can lead to significant long term ill health or death. Early diagnosis combined with effective treatment and care means people with HIV can have a normal life expectancy. Someone living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load will not pass HIV to their sexual partners.