HIV testing week is about raising awareness of HIV and to increase testing for HIV.
HIV is a blood borne virus, it is a treatable infection. If you have HIV, the sooner you know the better, as early care and treatment means that HIV won’t damage your health or shorten your life. This can also help to reduce the risk of passing HIV to others. Anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment.
Although statistics show that HIV rates are falling in the UK, they also show that many people are diagnosed late when they may already be ill as a result of the infection. Statistics also show us that many of the population in the UK don’t know they have the virus – the only way to know for sure is to be tested. Anyone can have a test- testing is easy with a quick and simple free blood test. Your results are usually back within a week.
Where can I get a test?
In support of HIV testing week- everyone – including staff, patients and relatives - can come along to Sexual Health for free and confidential testing for HIV, this can be a finger prick test or a routine blood test
During HIV testing week February 7th to February 13th 2022, we have specific appointments available just for HIV testing at our Chester Lodge clinic at Sunderland Royal Hospital – call on (0191) 5699966 to book in:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday appointments: 12pm-1pm
Tuesday and Thursday appointments: 4pm-5pm
You can order a test kit online from our website - www.sunderlandsexualhealth.nhs.uk/services/online-testing
You may be eligible to order a test from this website - https://freetesting.hiv/
How can I reduce the risk of getting HIV?
Condoms are the best barrier against HIV – you can get these free from our Sexual Health services, no need for an appointment – just call in during clinic opening times.
Anyone aged 24 and under can register for a C-Card which gives you access to free condoms in a variety of different ways in Sunderland. For more information, visit: www.ccardsunderland.co.uk
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) if you are HIV negative PrEP is a medication you can take before and after sex that reduces the risk of getting HIV. This is available from our service – contact us to find out more, or visit - https://www.sunderlandsexualhealth.nhs.uk/services/hiv-pespe-prep
Regular testing for HIV can also help – HIV can effect anyone regardless of who you have sex with – so even if you think “I won’t need a test as I’m not at risk” – it’s a quick simple test why not be certain and have a test?
Where can I get more information or support?
Contact us on (0191) 5699966 for an appointment or see our opening times on our website www.sunderlandsexualhealth.nhs.uk
Speak to one of our Health Advising team for advice and information on 0191 5699115.
Other useful websites:
HIV testing is available all year round – not just HIV testing week!!