HIV Testing Week and World AIDS Day – what did we do?

Our Sexual Health Teams in Wakefield and Barnsley have been very busy during the past few weeks with events such as National HIV Testing Week and World AIDS Day. Both teams organised several outreach events in the community and local colleges.

Wakefield Sexual Health Team set-up stalls in Wakefield College City Campus and Castleford Campus during the National HIV Testing Week. They also encouraged students to learn their HIV status and raised awareness about HIV in general. In total seven students took the HIV test – six from Castleford Campus.

One student who was willing to test (at the City Campus) was told by their friends that they didn’t need any test. Our team explained to the group that everyone should know their HIV status. After some discussion, the students agreed and supported their friend.

We received a brilliant response and feedback at the Castleford Campus. Several students came to the stall and asked questions about the infection, how it is spread, how it can be prevented and how to get tested.

We offered Insti-HIV Testing which is a simple fingerpick test and you can get your results within 60 seconds. Students who took the test and even those who just wanted to learn more about how the test works were given demonstration with a sample HIV Testing Kit. This test can also detect Syphilis infection without having to give blood sample twice.

Several students also approached our team members for general sexual health advice including contraception, pregnancy testing and other STIs.

For World AIDS Day, our Barnsley Sexual Health team set-up a stall at Better Barnsley- Mayday Green. They also offered Insti-HIV testing as well as Chlamydia testing. They encouraged youth to sign-up for the C-Card which is our free condoms scheme for people aged between 16 and 25 years who live in the Wakefield and Barnsley Districts.

Early December we have also been delighted to learn that our senior specialist in Wakefield has been given the Doctor of the Year award at Yorkshire Evening Post Best of Health Awards. Dr Fiona Schneider, consultant gynaecologist who won this title, says that this award is for Spectrum’s Sexual Health Team who work tirelessly to ensure quality services are offered to everyone in the District.

If you would like to take the free HIV test or if you need advice on any other sexual health matters; please contact us on 01924 327586 or wakefield.SHARP@spectrum-cic.nhs.uk if you are in Wakefield. If you are based in Barnsley, you can contact us on 0800 0556442 or barnsley.SHARP@spectrum-cic.nhs.uk

Visit our Christmas and Sexual Health Campaign Page to learn how you can look after your sexual health during this festive season.