The 1st December marks the 33rd World AIDS Day in the 40th year since HIV and AIDS was first listed in a medical journal. Positive East will be offering free testing in Havering on the day.
HIV is a manageable long-term health condition with developments in treatment and support services meaning people living with HIV can have healthy and fulfilling lives in the UK. Unfortunately, many people around the world don’t have the same access to resources, and many have come before us who fought for our rights.
In the UK there are approximately 105,200 people living with HIV. This included 4,139 diagnosed with HIV in 2019. However, it’s estimated that 6% of people living with HIV aren’t aware (6,600).
World AIDS Day is a time of reflection. We remember those we lost to HIV. We celebrate the HIV Community and our Allies, who championed change. We show solidarity to those living with HIV.
It is also an opportunity to challenge myths and stigma, ensuring that everyone in London is aware of the advancements in treatment and prevention. This includes the empowering message that someone living with HIV and is on effective treatment cannot pass on HIV to someone who is HIV negative. This is known as Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U).
Mark Santos, Director of Positive East said: “In London we have all the resources we need to end all new cases of HIV by 2030 but still people are testing late or remain undiagnosed We need to continue to ensure that all those affected by HIV are aware of our HIV prevention toolkit including HIV treatment, testing, PrEP, PEP, U=U and condoms. At Positive East we take our services directly into our communities equipping them with the knowledge and confidence to take control of their sexual health and wellbeing.”
On World AIDS Day, Positive East will be offering HIV & STI testing and information across all the 8 London boroughs they operate in, including Havering.
In Havering, Positive East will be testing at Mardyke Community Centre 12-3pm. The service is fast, free and confidential and with a finger-prick of blood you’ll find out your HIV status in the appointment.
Appointments for the testing service can be booked through www.positiveeast.org.uk/hivtest
They will also be offering resources and advice at Liberty Shopping Centre 1-4pm with an information stall. You’ll be able to collect a red ribbon to show solidarity to those living with HIV and an opportunity to share the U=U message that someone who is on effective treatment cannot pass on HIV. They will also have information about how access free PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), HIV prevention medication through the NHS, and details of peer-support, counselling and information & advice services available to those living with HIV