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National HIV Testing Week

27 November 2013

Health Care

Southend University Hospital's sexual health nurses are urging people to get tested for HIV. 

As part of the National HIV Testing Week, 22-29 November, staff want to reiterate the importance of having this simple blood test. All patients seen at the sexual health clinic are offered the test and some patients can even receive their results by text message.

Public Health England recently revealed that Southend has the highest prevalence of HIV cases in the East of England so it's especially important for people to get tested in this area.

Laura Hilton, clinic nurse specialist for HIV said: "I would encourage everyone to be tested, HIV is treatable. Failure to diagnose HIV leads to avoidable deaths and serious illness.

"Effective treatment reduces infectiousness and can reduce onwards transmission. Patients who receive treatment can live a near normal live span."

The hospital's sexual health clinic is open five days a week; appointments can be booked by calling 01702 male - 385120 or female - 385121. They also offer a walk-in service Monday to Thursday between 09.00 and 10.00.

96,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. 24 per cent of these people are undiagnosed. Anyone can catch the infection; you only have to have unprotected sex once to be at risk.

For more information on the hospital's sexual health services, please visit /your-services/medical-services/sexual-health/