It is the time of year again for HIV Testing Week!
Coordinated by HIV Prevention England (HPE) since 2012, National HIV Testing week has focused on three main aims:
- improving awareness of HIV testing, particularly among communities at high-risk
- increasing opportunities to take the test in clinics and other community settings
- reducing the number of people diagnosed with HIV at a late stage
This year’s theme is ‘Give HIV the Finger’ – a cheeky reference to the free finger-prick test that people can receive by post, to provide a blood sample for testing without attending a clinic.
HIV in the United Kingdom
According the latest surveillance from Public Health England (PHE), just over 5,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2016; this is an 18% drop compared with 2015.[i] 54% of diagnoses were among gay and bisexual men; 19% and 22% among heterosexual men and women respectively. Late diagnosis is an important predictor of morbidity and premature death in people with HIV. In 2016, 42% diagnoses were made at a late stage of infection when treatment is less effective. (more…)