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HIV Testing Kit

Home sampling HIV testing service for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire residents – http://www.freetesting.hiv/

 

National HIV Testing Week starts on Saturday 19 November. Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils work together with Public Health England to provide free HIV home sampling kits to local residents.

The kit arrives in the post and all that is needed is a simple blood spot sample, which is sent back to the laboratory for testing. The results are provided within five working days and support is available from a confidential clinical service.

 

There are around 100,000 people in the UK living with HIV, which includes 18,100 people who are unaware that they are HIV positive. Higher risk groups include men who have sex with men and women and men from black African communities.

 

Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Bedford Borough Council said: “HIV, like other sexually transmitted infections, can show no symptoms, so you may have an infection and not know about it. This is why it is a good idea to undergo a quick and easy test for HIV, to put your mind at rest.”

 

Cllr Maurice Jones, Executive Member for Health at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “It always pays to make sure you’re clear of any infection or virus, and this is particularly true of something like HIV.

 

“As well as preventing the further spread of HIV, testing also ensures that those who are HIV positive get the treatment they need. Improved treatment options for HIV means those who are diagnosed early can have a life expectancy almost matching that of people who are HIV free.”

 

National HIV testing week aims to raise awareness of HIV and to encourage people to get tested regularly. Regular testing will reduce the number of people being diagnosed late, which will significantly improve their health, increase their life expectancy and reduce the rate of new infections.

 

Home sampling kits are available now at http://www.freetesting.hiv/

 

There are a range of sexual health services available across Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire that provide free, non-judgemental and confidential HIV testing. Please visit http://www.icash.nhs.uk/ to find a clinic near you.

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