Thousands more gay men know their HIV status

Besi Besemar December 16, 2012

Thousands more gay men have been tested for HIV after more than 55 sexual health clinics and organisations from across England participated in the country’s first every National HIV Testing Week in November.

The week, which was launched by Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) and co-ordinated through HIV Prevention England (HPE), saw over 800 additional hours of HIV testing events across England.

Other successes, included: a home sampling service launched by London-based gay men’s health charity GMFA which saw more than 200 home HIV sampling kits posted out to gay men in London; in Leeds, 111 additional HIV tests were given in the city compared with five tests during the same period last year, while the Terrence Higgins Trust’s centre in Brighton extended its clinic opening hours throughout the week, testing an extra 51 local people for HIV.

Paul Ward, Deputy Chief Executive at THT, said:

“We are thrilled with how successful the week has been, and the great response we had from clinics and community organisations. As a result of increased testing activities during the week, thousands more gay men across England now know their HIV status. Whether you’re positive or negative, knowing your status is the first step in being able to protect yourself and your partners from infection.
“National HIV Testing Week is a great annual reminder for gay men to test. However, not everyone’s sex life is the same, and some men will need to test more regularly than others. We hope the message of the week, of how important testing is to both individual and public health, will last all year round.”

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