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Get Tested, Get Protected from HIV

Published Thursday, 20 November 2014

This week Enfield Council urged residents to think about having a HIV test as statistics show that one in five people with the virus don’t even know that they have it.

HIV

To combat this lack of awareness and prevent the spread of the virus, the council wants people to be tested for HIV during a special testing and awareness campaign that will run in the borough for two weeks starting on 24 November.

Coinciding with World AIDS Day on 1 December, the drive aims to encourage people to think about having an HIV test as well as advocating the use of condoms to protect themselves or their partners against HIV. An HIV test is simple and painless, and can be done quickly at your GP surgery, a genitourinary medicine clinic or a family planning centre. The test and treatment are free.

Advances in medical treatment mean that HIV is much more treatable now than it used to be but the earlier it is diagnosed the better. This means that not only will people with HIV live longer, healthier lives but also that diagnosis will help to stop the spread of infection. Although years ago AIDS was seen as a killer, many people now live a normal life with HIV and AIDS, especially if it is diagnosed and treated early.

Cllr Rohini Simbodyal, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport, Youth and Public Health said “One fifth of people who carry the virus don’t know that they do, and because of this the message is ‘get tested, get protected’.

“HIV is still serious but today it is much more treatable than it was so early diagnosis will go a long way to improving and maintaining health and ensuring that there is no onward transmission of the virus. Testing will help protect both the individual and others.

“It’s important to test early because the sooner you start receiving treatment the better to reduce symptoms and increase longevity.”

For free and confidential advice about HIV or to find out where you can get an HIV test visit NHS Choice or Link


 

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