‘It starts with you’ this National HIV Testing Week
Manchester Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) is leading
Manchester's involvement in National HIV Testing Week which runs
from the 22nd - 29th November 2013.
The week aims to raise awareness particularly among gay men and
people from African communities to increase testing. It was
initiated by HIV Prevention England, who aim to reduce undiagnosed
and late diagnosed HIV by early testing. The event coincides with
the first ever European testing week. Testing opportunities will be
offered in the community, at clinics and GPs practices.
MSCH Manager Debbie Thomas said: "This year we wanted to use the
event not only to increase awareness and acceptability of HIV
testing, but to also use it as a platform to bring together the
amazing work and efforts of the organisations who work all year
round to increase access to HIV testing, in a variety of
The Centre's programme for testing during National HIV Testing
Week (NHTW) is in line with the national focus for this event -
targeting the most at risk populations: gay men and African
people. The majority of testing, to all groups and
communities, takes place at The Hathersage Centre, but the service
provides outreach clinics to target populations who otherwise would
not access testing.
Thomas: "Though we do this work all year NHTW provides us with
the opportunity to really focus on the hard to reach populations
and to challenge our own efforts, and to try something new."
The Centre will provide HIV tests in the First Stop Health Bus,
which will be parked by Hulme ASDA. Thomas: "We're not only
promoting HIV testing, but also providing the test it in the heart
of the community, and even if people choose not to test on the day,
they may take away a leaflet and decide to test the following week
or month, but we planted the seed during NHTW."
The Centre partners up with The Lesbian and Gay Foundation,
Black Health Agency and NHS England to deliver a programme of
events and testing.
This year's programme of events includes:
Monday 25th November - Black Health Agency & MCSH
Hosting stand ASDA Hulme
Tuesday 26th November - Sexual health screening
clinic at Basement Sauna 12.00pm-3.00pm
Wednesday 27th November - Hosting a full day HIV
Testing Clinic at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Richmond
Thursday 28th November - Hosting a sexual health
clinic with the Black Health Agency on the Health Check Bus outside
Moss Side Market
Thursday 28th November - HIV Specialist Midwife
hosting a stand in St Mary's Hospital Atrium
Friday 29th November - Live Twitchat with a Sexual
Thomas said: "Working in close partnership with The Lesbian and
Gay Foundation, we provide year round outreach clinics to men who
have sex with men at LGF and male saunas in the City Centre." and
that is working well.
HIV the facts
25,000 people in the UK live are undiagnosed with HIV, a quarter
of all people with HIV in the UK. Currently, one in four people
with HIV remain undiagnosed and therefore more likely to pass the
virus on than someone who has tested and is on treatment.
Dr Orla McQuillan, Sexual Health Consultant at MCSH, said:
"Getting tested will protect your partners, and getting tested
means you can have children who won't have HIV." She added: "If
they're right at the beginning of their infection, I say to people:
You can manage this, you will survive to see your children and
probably your grandchildren as well."
- HIV very common infection in Manchester now 7329
individuals accessing care in the North west in 2012, in
Manchester amongst those aged 15-59 5.72/1000 infection
- 50% patients new to services in 2012 were Gay or bisexual
- Nationally 25 % patients are diagnosed late and this was more
likely to be the case in Heterosexual men and women so although the
numbers affected in these groups are smaller they are more likely
to be unwell at presentation.
- Outlook-normal or near normal lifespan with early diagnosis
and treatment but this worsens with later
For more information
To contact the Centre or find out about clinic times visit www.manchestersexualhealth.org
To find out more about Nation HIV Testing Week visit www.hivpreventionengland.org.uk
Issued by Ruth Edwards, Communications Department
contact 0161 901 2658 or firstname.lastname@example.org