In advance of HIV Testing Week, Councillor Aysha Raza, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for tackling inequalities, went along to the HIV testing bus to find out more.
National HIV Testing Week is a campaign to promote regular testing among the most-affected population groups in England. Regular testing helps to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV and those diagnosed late.
As part of HIV testing week, sexual health service Spectra will be offering free and confidential HIV testing at pop-up clinics, where you can go along and ask questions and/or have a free HIV test.
• Ealing Central Library on Friday, Feb 10, 2-5pm, Ealing Broadway Centre, Ealing W5 5JY
• The Stay Club, North Acton on Wed, Feb 8, 10–4pm. This is a focused session for refugees, 200 Western Avenue, W3 6FW.
Councillor Raza had a test herself, as you can view in the video above. She said: “As you can see, the test is quick, easy and pain free. It is available all year around in sexual health clinics, the London online e-service and through outreach partners.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to end the HIV epidemic for good. We must also keep fighting the stigma experienced by people living with HIV. Your support can help us realise our vision for a future where HIV is no longer a barrier to health or equality”
HIV testing is one of the four proven methods of prevention, which also include condoms, PrEP, PEP and U=U (undetectable = untransmissible).
Find out more about the Four Proven Methods of prevention at Do It London – HIV Prevention
Testing regularly means HIV can be treated at the earliest possible stage and medical advances means the best possible outcome for long-term health and wellbeing.
With treatment you can also become undetectable and then untransmissible, U=U meaning, you will not pass-on HIV to your sexual partners.
Testing is also available all year round, for free, in NHS sexual health clinics, the London online e-service and through outreach partners, locally provided by London Northwest Healthcare Trust and SHL, the London online self- testing service.
If you are recently diagnosed or are living with HIV, our partners Living Well in Ealing provide a wide range of support services.
To find out more about testing, prevention and support watch the full interview here.