Number of people living with in the UK continues to increase

Public Health England has today released the report ‘HIV in the UK – Situation Report 2015: Incidence, prevalence and prevention.’

In 2014 an estimated 103,700 people were living with HIV of whom 69,200 were men and 34,400 were women. With an estimated 17% (18,100 people) of people living with HIV unaware of their infection and at risk of unknowingly passing on HIV.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon says:

Simon Dowe“Even though we are seeing a decline in the number of undiagnosed infections the rates of ongoing transmission remain high. Ensuring that people have access to HIV tests, PrEP and HIV medicines is essential in stopping the spread of the virus.  Year on year we have seen an increase in the number of people living with HIV highlighting the need for effective prevention programmes to ensure that people most at risk of HIV receive the information and advice on how to stay negative.”

Today Public Health England have launched a free HIV home sampling service to increase HIV testing for those at higher-risk of HIV.

Jason Warriner, Lead Nurse at The Sussex Beacon said:

Jason quote image“Easy access to testing is key to reducing undiagnosed HIV. Having a range of testing options available helps to normalise testing and gives people a choice for where and when they want to test. Early diagnosis of HIV means that people can access treatment and care services so that they remain healthy.”

The Sussex Beacon remains committed to supporting people living with HIV and responding to their changing needs.

National HIV Testing Week starts November 21st

National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) runs from the 21st – 28th November 2015. The week aims to raise awareness of the importance of HIV testing to communities where there is a high prevalence of HIV, such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and members of black African communities.

The Sussex Beacon is supporting National HIV Testing Week by promoting testing events through social media.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon says:

Simon Dowe “We are supporting National HIV Testing Week by posting messages on our Facebook page and Twitter feed to help people living in Brighton to find out where they can have a HIV test. A range of services are providing extra clinics during the week and we want to support people to access information easily using social media to help them make the decision to have a HIV test.”

The theme of the week is ‘I’m testing’. This message is to emphasise the importance of taking personal responsibility for HIV testing to protect your own health and to reduce the spread of HIV in our communities.

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade said:

Pkizzy “National HIV Testing Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of HIV in Brighton and Hove and encourage people to have a HIV test. Today if someone is diagnosed with HIV and accessing specialist care and treatment we are looking at a normal life
expectancy. This is a significant step forward in the last 20 years.  It is great to see The Sussex Beacon supporting National HIV Testing Week as well as providing support and care all year round for people living with HIV.”

To find out more about HIV, and testing, visit the NHIVTW website at www.startswithme.org.uk There is a ‘Where to Test’ tool listing a range of services which will be providing testing throughout the week.