Give HIV the finger
Croydon is again supporting National HIV Testing Week, which starts on Saturday 18 November, with widespread promotion to get more people to take care of their health.
The week is an ideal opportunity for residents to take advantage of the range of options available to get tested, and to make regular testing part of your sexual health priorities.
This year’s HIV Testing Week theme – Give HIV the Finger – aims to demonstrate that getting tested for HIV is as easy as a quick finger-prick test, with the result available within 15 minutes. Receiving an early diagnosis and treatment can help people to live up to a normal lifespan.
There has been a reduction in late HIV diagnoses across the country; however, it remains the case that too many people are diagnosed late, especially among heterosexuals.
HIV Testing Week seeks to increase the level of testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) and black African people, to reduce late diagnoses and the numbers who are undiagnosed. The week also raises awareness of HIV and aims to reduce HIV related stigma and encourage the use of condoms.
Free and confidential HIV testing is available all year at Croydon University Hospital, GP surgeries and other clinical settings. In addition, there will be extra testing sites in Croydon during testing week, with many remaining open until the day after World Aids Day on 1 December.
About HIV and AIDS
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It's a virus that attacks the immune system, and weakens your ability to fight infections and disease. It's most commonly caught by having sex without a condom. It can also be passed on by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment, and from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
There is no cure for HIV, but there are treatments to enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, when your body can no longer fight life-threatening infections. With early diagnosis and effective treatment, most people with HIV will not go on to develop AIDS.
HIV Support Services
METRO HIV - FirstPoint
METRO HIV supports people living with HIV in a number of ways: through initial needs assessments, advice and advocacy, referrals, group work and peer support. Visit the METRO HIV website to find out more about the services on offer to you.
Tel: 020 7160 0949
Other relevant sites
You can also visit these sites and many others across the UK for support and advice about testing and after care to meet your needs.