Local charity The Sussex Beacon is urging people to get tested for HIV this National HIV Testing Week. Testing week runs from November 19th – 25th this year and the aim is to raise awareness of HIV and increase testing, particularly among high-risk groups including gay men and the African community.
Around 17% of people living with HIV are unaware they have it and the majority of new infections are as a result of these individuals unknowingly passing the virus on.
Simon Dowe, CEO of The Sussex Beacon said, “Too many people are diagnosed with HIV late. These people may face serious health complications as a result, or may pass the virus on. If you think you might have been at risk, please take the test. It will either put your mind at rest, or get you the treatment you need to stay well. It could be the most important test you ever take.”
The team from The Sussex Beacon will be raising awareness and urging people to test throughout the week, both directly and via social media. At the end of the week, on November 26th, The Sussex Beacon will be at a Brighton & Hove Albion football match as the club’s charity partner and will be using that opportunity to get the testing message across too.
HIV testing is free and completely confidential. Testing methods vary and people may be offered a swab, a rapid finger prick test or a blood test. To find out where to take a test locally visit www.brightonsexualhealth.com or www.tht.org.uk/brightontests. Alternatively, to get a sampling kit to use at home visit www.test.hiv
National Testing Week is coordinated by HIV Prevention England. Visit the National Testing Week website here:
The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV. The charity provides both inpatient and outpatient services to promote independence and improve health. For more information visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk