TV presenter Dr Christian Jessen and TOWIE star Charlie King are among the famous gay men pledging their support for this year’s National HIV Testing Week (November 22-30).
National HIV Testing Week was established by Terrence Higgins Trust and HIV Prevention England in 2012, in a bid to reduce high levels of undiagnosed and late-diagnosed HIV among gay men and Africans in England.
Dr Christian Jessen, presenter of Channel 4’sEmbarrassing Bodies, said: “HIV remains one of the biggest health risks facing gay and bi men in this country. Medical advice says, if you’re a sexually active gay man, you should be testing for HIV and other STIs at least once every 12 months. National HIV Testing Week is a great opportunity to make that commitment, and be sure of your status. If we can get everyone behind that message, and testing regularly, we will see new infections start to fall.”
In 2013, there were an estimated 43,500 gay and bisexual men living with HIV in the UK, one in six of whom remain undiagnosed. Undiagnosed infection is widely recognised as a key factor driving the UK’s HIV epidemic, as someone who remains undiagnosed is much more likely to pass the virus on unwittingly than someone who has tested and is on treatment.
Charlie King, former star of The Only Way Is Essex, added: “National HIV Testing Week is such an important campaign, shedding light on a needlessly stigmatised topic. More gay men should go out there, get tested and know their status!”
Men are encouraged to visit www.startswithme.org.uk
To pledge support for National HIV Testing Week, find the nearest testing service, or order a postal HIV test. click here: