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National HIV Testing Week begins on Monday 6 February 2023.

The week aims to increase the uptake of HIV testing to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV and those with late diagnosis.

In England an estimated 5,000 people are living with undiagnosed HIV.

Half of newly diagnosed people have tested at a late stage, with their immunity already compromised.

People can live with HIV for a long time without symptoms. Late diagnosis increases the risk of onward transmission, ill-health and an 11-fold risk of death within a year of diagnosis, compared to those who are diagnosed early.

HIV testing is free, quick and easy, and all healthcare staff can offer a HIV test to their patients. By routinely offering a HIV test you have an important opportunity to normalise testing, link people to care, and reduce onward transmission. All patients with risk of exposure to HIV or who present with clinical indicator conditions of HIV should always be tested.

HIV is no longer a death sentence – treatment is effective and allows a person living with the condition to have a long, healthy life without the risk of onward transmission.

As HIV can affect anyone, our Community HIV Specialist Service urges SCFT staff to learn their own HIV status and encourage others to do the same. The only way to do this is to have a HIV test.

Find out if you are due a test, how to test and where to test. There is even an option to request a free home test, which will be delivered in plain packaging.

Our Community HIV Specialist Service supports patients living with HIV who have complex needs (please note we do not offer HIV testing). Learn more about the service.