November 16th – 22nd was National HIV Testing Week in the UK, and between that and the run-up to World AIDS Day on December 1st we’ve been very busy at Heartlands!
Our fantastic team have been getting out into the community to promote HIV testing. The message is simple: don’t be scared … get tested, and stay healthy.
Last year, nearly half of all those diagnosed with HIV reported to clinic late. That means they may get sicker than they otherwise would have done. The solution? Get people testing much earlier.
Community outreach is the way to do that. Stigma is still a big barrier to testing, and talking with more people outside the clinic is the only way to break it down.
That’s why we’ve partnered with the national Saving Lives charity this year as in previous ones – to get our message out there even more widely.
Staff have been volunteering in Birmingham’s gay quarter, getting posters put up across our community in churches and town centres, and promoting free postal testing as a way of getting to know your HIV status easily and conveniently.
It’s 2019. There’s no excuse not to get tested. People receiving HIV treatment are living normal lives, and if their viral load is under control they cannot pass on HIV to their sexual partners. It all starts with a simple blood test.
We’re out there spreading the word – get tested this World AIDS Day!