Give HIV the finger
HIV Testing Week 2019 starts on Saturday 16 November and we’re encouraging people in Kirklees to have a test if they’ve not recently had one.
If you live locally, the place to get tested is The Brunswick Centre in Huddersfield (01484 469691) and/or Locala Sexual Health who are based at Huddersfield Princess Royal Health Centre and Dewsbury Health Centre. They do quick testing in a number of different places or you can make an appointment. It’s free, confidential and for everyone – but you need to age 16 or over. For HIV Testing Week they are running extra sessions, details are at the bottom of this article.
The NHS tell us that certain groups of people are at particular high risk of HIV and are advised to have regular tests, these include men who have sex with men, black African men and women, and people who share needles and other injecting equipment. People who are sexual partners with people from these groups may also be at increased risk of HIV.
If you’re wondering ‘do I need an HIV test?’ then read these 5 reasons to get tested, as shared by the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Be sure of your status
Knowing your HIV status means people are less likely to pass on the virus – so people diagnosed as positive are less likely to pass on the virus and the fact that those on effective treatment cannot pass on the virus. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV or not. People sometimes live for years, unaware that they have it. If you’ve never been tested, or it’s been more than a year since your last test, it’s a good idea to have one. If you’re sexually active, yearly testing is recommended, or more often if you have unprotected sex with more than one partner.
If you’re worried you’ve taken risks, a test can put your mind at ease.
Testing is easy, free and confidential
Having a test can be as simple as a finger-prick test at the Brunswick Centre. If the result is positive for HIV you will be referred to the sexual health clinic for a confirmatory test. You can also test for HIV in the sexual health clinics named above, your GP or even in your own home by ordering a home testing kit.
Take control of your health and stay well
If the test result is negative, you can take action to keep it that way. If it is positive, you can get treatment that keeps you healthy and prevents serious illnesses. When you are on effective treatment you will not pass on HIV. When people are tested and diagnosed late, their chance of survival is drastically reduced and can lead to death. There is more information about HIV treatment to help you stay well on the i-base website.
Keep you and your partner healthy
If you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take any steps to prevent passing it on to your partner – like getting treatment, using condoms or finding out about PEP (a type of medication). If you think you may have exposed yourself to HIV within a 3 day period, you can access PEP in Kirklees.
Get the treatment and support you need
In the UK, HIV medication and medical care is free. If you have HIV, the sooner you start treatment, the better it is for your health. Taking HIV medication as prescribed and getting an undetectable viral load means you can’t pass on HIV to your partner, even without a condom. If you test positive, there’s a wealth of information and support to help you live well with HIV.
HIV testing and information sessions during HIV Testing Week 2019
- 11.30am – 1.30pm, Tues 19 November – REACH project Huddersfield
- 2pm – 4pm, Tues 19 November – Empire Cinema Huddersfield
- 7pm – 9pm, Tues 19 November – HuGG support group Kirklees
- 10 am – 1 pm, Thurs 21 November – Methodist Mission, Huddersfield
- 6pm – 8pm, Thurs 21 November – Brunswick Centre Huddersfield office
- 1pm – 4pm, Mon 18 November – Sister’s United, Queen’s Road Neighbourhood Centre, Halifax
- 6pm – 8pm Mon 18 November – Brunswick Centre Halifax Office
- 11am – 1.30pm, Wed 20 November – 42 Market Street, Halifax
- 6pm – 8pm, Wed 20 November – Todmorden Community Resource Centre
- 7.30pm – 11pm, Fri 22 November – LGBT Village Bar, Halifax