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National HIV Testing Week: Southend Hospital encourages those at risk to get tested early

17 November 2014

Health Care

Southend Hospital in collaboration with Terence Higgins Trust are spreading the message that early testing saves lives and encourages those at risk to get tested early.

In 2013, Southend was reported to have the highest number of HIV infections in the East of England, all of which makes National HIV Testing Week (Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 November 2014) even more important.

On Tuesday 25 November, the trust's sexual health department will be raising awareness with a stand located by the entrance to the Cardigan Building. They aim to highlight the importance of HIV testing, the different methods of HIV tests currently available and answer any concerns, queries or issues about testing and HIV.

Advances in medicines means that people on HIV treatment can live healthy, active lives. If diagnosed early, a person living with HIV in the UK can expect a near-normal life span.

Dr Abu Bakar, HIV/genitourinary medicine (GUM) consultant, said: "If you think that you may be at risk, either through unprotected sex or sharing drug injection equipment, then you should visit Southend Hospital's sexual health clinic, which provides same-day testing for HIV, and advice and treatment for a range of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We also provide full screening for sexually transmitted infections."

A test is quick and free and can help you protect your loved ones and live a full life. So don't put it off, as it really is better to know.

Everyone should ensure they take steps to protect themselves and others from HIV infection by using a condom during sex and getting themselves tested for HIV.

HIV is a serious condition, but it is treatable. If you think you may be at risk, call Southend Hospital's sexual health clinic (numbers below).

You don't need to be referred to us by your GP or any other healthcare professional. Simply call us for an appointment on:

Male clinic:               01702 385120
Female clinic:           01702 385121

PHOTO: Alison Keefe (clinic manager) and Sabri Abu Bakar (HIV/genitourinary medicine GUM consultant)