Whilst new HIV diagnosis rates are falling, many people get tested too late, and there are still people living with HIV who are unaware of their status.
National HIV Testing Week is celebrating 10 years of campaigning to increase testing in the UK. This year (5-11 February), Lambeth is calling on residents to test for HIV. This is free and confidential from Sexual Health London or your local sexual health clinic.
During this week, across Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, if you are having a blood test, your GP will include an HIV screen, unless you opt out.
Lambeth is pairing with NAZ Project and the local blood testing sites to promote National HIV Testing Week and encourage residents to get tested.
The sooner you know your HIV status, the sooner you can get treatment and avoid passing the virus on to anyone else. Most people will get a negative result, but whatever happens, it’s important to know that anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment and support.
Over the last 10 years, the rate of new HIV diagnoses has decreased by over half across London.
However, there continues to be low testing in women and heterosexual men in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, contributing to late diagnosis in these groups.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Jim Dickson. Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities in Lambeth said: “Whilst new HIV diagnosis rates are falling across Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham, many people get tested too late, and there are still people living with HIV who are unaware of their status.
“Testing provides people with the opportunity who test positive for HIV to get on treatment and live a long and healthy life — people on effective HIV treatment can’t pass HIV on to partners.”
Testing is quick and easy and you can even do it in the comfort of your own home.
A Doctor Says
Ruth Harris, HIV GP Champion for Lambeth said: “As a GP in Lambeth, I am so excited for HIV Testing Week 2024. This week is a brilliant opportunity to have an HIV blood test from your GP surgery. Whether you are already having a routine blood test or want to have an HIV test, speak to your practice about how to be tested. It is free, easy and confidential and if we can test everyone living in Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark we will be one step closer to ending new HIV transmissions in London by 2030”
If you have not had a test before or your last test was 6 months ago, order a home test kit today from Sexual Health London.”