|HIV Testing Week|
61% of people diagnosed in Hounslow with HIV are diagnosed late
Hounslow residents can receive a free HIV finger prick test and results in 15 minutes at a special clinic during National HIV Testing Week (22-29 November, 2013).
The clinic has been set up by the council, in coordination with West Middlesex University Hospital, at the Heart of Hounslow Centre for Health as part of its drive to tackle HIV in the borough.
In 2011, the rate of HIV diagnosed in Hounslow was 3.4 per 1,000 people aged 15-59, compared to 2 per 1,000 in England. In 2011, 61 per cent of people with HIV in Hounslow were diagnosed late, compared to 44 per cent across London.
London boroughs account for 18 out of 20 local authorities with the highest diagnosed prevalence rate of HIV in the country. New diagnoses of HIV rose by eight per cent in London from 2,615 in 2011 to 2,832 in 2012, reversing a downward trend since 2003
Cllr Ajmer Grewal, cabinet member for public health at the council, said: “HIV is no longer the death sentence is once was, but it remains a dangerous disease if left undiagnosed”.
“Early diagnosis is crucial both to stop the spread of the disease and to begin treatment as early as possible”.
“If you may have been exposed to HIV, we encourage you to take up this offer of a test during national testing week. You can also get tested throughout the year at a range of other health centres in Hounslow.”
Dr Sohail Bhatti, interim director of public health, at the council said:
”HIV is a virus most commonly caught by having sex without a condom with an infected person. 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.
“The best way to prevent HIV is to use a condom for sex and to never share needles or other injecting equipment, such as syringes, spoons and swabs.
“If you think you have put yourself at risk of HIV, you should seek medical advice and have a test as soon as recommended. The earlier HIV is detected, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful.”
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The virus attacks the immune system, and weakens your ability to fight infections and disease.
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.
Anyone wanting to have a test can visit the walk-in clinic at the Heart of Hounslow on:
· Monday 25 November, 12:00 – 1900
· Tuesday 26 November, 12:00 – 18:00
· Wednesday 27 November, 09:00 – 18:00
· Thursday 28 November, 12:00 – 19:00
· Friday 29 November, 12:00 – 16:00
Outside these times, you can still access testing at any of these walk in clinics:
Results usually take seven days, but instant testing can be booked by calling 020 8321 5718.
For more information about local sexual health services, including opening times, visit West Middlesex University Hospital’s sexual health pages here.
For more information about www.hivpreventionengland.org.uk
To find other HIV testing services available visit www.tht.org.uk/itstartswithme
November 16, 2013