World AIDS day reminds us of importance of early testing
Published: 1 December 2022
On World AIDS day Derbyshire and Derby City sexual health service is urging people to take advantage of a free, at home, HIV testing kit.
World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year and this year it’s 40 years since the first case of HIV/ AIDS in the UK. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
In 2021, the Government outlined plans to end AIDS and HIV related deaths by 2030, an ambitious target, however, we’ve met the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target for 3 years in a row. This means we’re diagnosing over 90% of people who live with HIV, over 90% of those who are diagnosed are getting treatment, and over 90% of those who are treated have quantities of HIV so small that it is undetectable and untransmittable.
Derby City Council’s Director of Public Health, Robyn Dewis, said:
HIV testing is key to prevention and effective treatment. Evidence shows that early diagnosis can make a big difference to the quality of life of someone with HIV.
The benefits of testing leading to early treatment also reach beyond the individual, having wider public health benefits, including reducing the risk of passing the virus on to other people.
That’s why we’re urging people to visit www.yoursexualhealthmatters.org.uk and order a free test.”
In 2019, a total of 98,552 people were seen for HIV care in the UK. Improved treatment for HIV means those diagnosed early can increase their chances of living a long, healthy life by reducing the chance of complications and that they receive support.
In 2021 in Derbyshire 47.6% and Derby City 34.8% (43.4% in England) of adults diagnosed with HIV were diagnosed at a late stage of infection and reducing late HIV diagnosis is a key public health priority.
HIV testing and outreach services are a part of this, whether in GP practices, sexual health clinics or in local community settings.
Derbyshire has a free, confidential sexual health service – Your Sexual Health Matters - that offers services such as screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV testing, sexual health information and support.
You can order a free, home HIV testing kit online.
You can also find out more about free, confidential and non-judgemental sexual health services at www.yoursexualhealthmatters.org.uk or contact the information and booking line on Freephone 0800 328 3383.