National HIV Testing Week

‘Know Your Status’ for National HIV Testing Week

Spectrum Community Health is encouraging people to ‘Know Your Status!’ by taking an HIV test. National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) starts on Saturday 18th November 2017 and sexual health providers across the Wakefield and Barnsley Districts are working together to raise awareness about the importance of getting tested.

Knowing your HIV status gives you complete control over your health. If someone has recently changed partners, had unprotected sex, unsure if their protection has worked, recently returned from a holiday romance or it’s been a while since they last had sex – it is important for them to take a test and know their HIV status.

Belinda Loftus, Spectrum’s Head of Sexual Health Services said:

“Knowing your HIV status is the only way you can take control over your health and have peace of mind. HIV rates are falling thanks to the advances being made in prevention and treatment, but 13% of people living with HIV still don’t know they have it. Testing is quick and simple to do and Spectrum’s friendly nurses provide plenty of advice and support to anyone who is worried about taking the test. Knowing your status is the only way you can protect yourself and others. Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV means people can now live a long and healthy life.”

Dr Andrew Furber, Wakefield Council’s Director of Public Health said:

“Testing has improved significantly and now only involves a quick and simple finger prick test, with the results available in minutes. I encourage people to go and get tested to help protect their own health as well as that of others.”

Testing regularly for HIV ensures you are protecting your health and others too. Testing for HIV is quick, easy and confidential, and knowing your status will allow people to access the support they might need. It may feel like a big step to have a HIV test but Spectrum’s nurses can offer the support someone might need. All conversations are strictly confidential and non-judgemental.

It’s also important to get tested and diagnosed to ensure that if treatment is needed, it can begin early. To get a HIV Test:

  • Visit Spectrum Community Health at our Trinity Walk Clinic in Wakefield City Centre (Trinity Walk Clinic, Unit LG1A, Trinity Walk Shopping Centre, Wakefield WF1 1QS). Drop-In clinics are offered Monday to Friday, 8.15am to 12pm. You can also book an appointment to see us – just call 0800 121 4860 or email: Wakefield.SHARP@spectrum-cic.nhs.uk.
  • Visit Spectrum Community Health at our Gateway Clinic in Barnsley (Unit 1 Gateway Plaza, Sackville Street, Barnsley, S70 2RD). Drop-In clinics are offered Monday to Friday, 8.15am to 11:30m. You can also book an appointment to see us – just call 0800 055 6442 or email: Barnsley.SHARP@spectrum-cic.nhs.uk.
  • Book an appointment with Yorkshire MESMAC – visit mesmac.co.uk
  • You can find other clinics that offer HIV testing by visiting aidsmap.com/hiv-test-finder.
  • Free home self-sampling tests are available online. These are available to anyone who is in a high risk group – the site will ask you a series of question to assess if you fall within this group. You can order these online from either sexual-health.co.uk or www.test.hiv.

National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) is co-ordinated by HIV Prevention England (HPE) with support from organisations nationwide.

For more information on HIV Testing Week in Wakefield and Barnsley, you can follow us on Twitter @SpectrumSHARP and Facebook or visit www.sexual-health.co.uk.