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North East NHS Trust highlighting the advantages of regular HIV testing

Photo: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Community health experts are urging those who are deemed to be "at risk of HIV" to have regular tests.

It comes as part of an awareness campaign which has started in advance of national HIV testing week which gets underway on November 18.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s sexual health service says having regular tests can improve health outcomes and reduce the risk of onward transmission.

I am pleased to say that across the country we are seeing a reduction in late diagnoses because people are thinking about whether they are at risk and getting a test.

However, while rates of late diagnosis have reduced, too many people are still diagnosed late, especially among heterosexual men and women.

HIV testing week is an ideal opportunity for people who have not previously thought of themselves as being at risk of infection, to take advantage of the range of options available to them and make regular testing part of their sexual health priorities.

Our sexual health clinics in Northumberland and North Tyneside offer a range of free and confidential services including HIV testing.

People can visit any sexual health clinic - it doesn’t have to be one in their local area. And they can find information about clinics and services across Northumberland and North Tyneside by downloading our free app or visiting the website.”

– Dr Helen McIlveen

More people coming forward for HIV testing is critical to reduce late HIV diagnoses and the number of people who remain undiagnosed and therefore controlling the spread of HIV.

Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has resulted in substantial reductions in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and deaths in the UK.