Free HIV tests in Redbridge on World Aids Day
- Credit: Archant
Living with HIV can be scary but it doesn’t mean a death sentence.
That is the message that HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust would like to promote on World Aids Day.
In Redbridge, 63 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV receive their diagnosis late.
Late diagnosis means a person has tested positive for HIV after the virus has began to damage the immune system.
Although there is no cure, medical advancements mean HIV can be treated as a manageable illness if it is caught early enough.
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Today, the Terrence Higgins HIV Prevention Team is offering HIV tests outside Redbridge Central Library, in Clements Road, Ilford, until 8pm.
Tests are carried out confidentially by an expert assistant practitioner in the mobile clinic.
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The rapid test will involve finger-prick testing, which gives results in 60 seconds.
Yasmin Dunkley, community engagement officer for the charity, said the team wanted to normalise sexual health checks.
She said: “Just as you would go for a general health check-up at your doctor’s, everyone should have their sexual health checked.
“Living with HIV is manageable and treatable and nobody should be afraid of being tested.”
HIV is a viral infection which attacks the immune system and weakens defences against disease.
You can live with HIV for many years with no symptoms, increasing the risk of late diagnosis and of the virus being unknowingly passed to others.