NEW FREE HIV TESTING KIT LAUNCHED BY LEWISHAM
A free home sampling kit to test for HIV can now be requested at www.freetesting.hiv by residents who are at a higher risk, including men and women from black African communities and men who have sex with men.
Public Health England and local authorities across the country have for the first time introduced home delivery for HIV sampling kits until the end of 2015. The kits can be ordered online and involves you taking a simple finger prick blood test in the privacy of your own home. This is sent to a laboratory for results, and you get subsequent support with a confidential clinical service if positive.
In Lewisham, 1,730 people are currently living with HIV and in addition to this there are an estimated 577 people who are HIV positive but unaware and are at risk of passing the infection onto others.
Testing and having an early diagnosis of HIV means people living with HIV can have normal life expectancy and protect their partners and babies (in the case of pregnant women) from the infection through treatment.
All residents are encouraged to test for HIV which they can request, in confidence, from their GP or a sexual health clinic.
As part of World AIDS Day on Tuesday 1 December, the Africa Advocacy Foundation have a free event at All Saints Community Centre on New Cross Road, focusing on HIV prevalence, co-infections, mental health and self management.
Find out where to go for advice and guidance on sexual health issues for men, women and young people in the borough at www.lewisham.gov.uk/news (links on press release dated 27 November 2015) (Source: Lewisham council press release.)