It’s estimated that there are about 10,000 gay men in the UK who have HIV but have not had their infection diagnosed. For some gay men, the hassle of taking time off work to go get tested is enough to prevent them from testing.
GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, as part of National HIV testing week, has teamed up with Homerton Hospital and North East London and the City NHS to provide free HIV home testing kits for gay men in London.
To apply for a free home testing kit, view:
The Health Protection Agency recommends that all sexually active gay men test for HIV at least once a year, even if they always use condoms, and more often if they have unprotected sex with new partners. Men who have undiagnosed infection are not able to access the treatment and care which can extend their life expectancy and make them less likely to pass the virus to their sexual partners.
The kit arrives in a plain envelope and is simple to use, requiring only a mouth swab. Once the test has been taken, you post the swab back in a prepaid envelope and within a couple of days you will receive your results by text or phone call.
Matthew Hodson of GMFA, said:
“Regular testing will help men with HIV to live longer and healthier lives, and will also reduce the number of gay men who become infected. For all of these reasons we are particularly keen to remove any barriers that prevent men from testing and make it as easy for them as possible.”
If you don’t need a test right now but want a nudge to make sure that you test regularly in future, GMFA is also running a service to send annual email reminders to men to get tested.
To sign up to the reminder service, view:
and tell them what month you would like to receive a reminder.
The service will be available up until the end of March 2013.