Council encourages HIV testing

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Calderdale Council is urging people to get tested for HIV, as today (Saturday) marks the start of National HIV Testing Week - a UK-wide awareness week.

One in four people living with HIV in Calderdale are not aware they have the disease and the council are now offering free, quick and confidential tests in the borough this week.

From 2pm to 4pm today (Saturday, November 22) the Brunswick Centre, Calderdale, is holding drop-in sessions to check for the disease and to give advice to people.

Coun Ann McAllister, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Social Care, said: “In Calderdale, nearly 65% of people are diagnosed ‘late’, when their treatment should have already started. This puts them at risk of serious illness and reduced life expectancy, and increases the risk of HIV being passed on to others.

“We’re urging local men and women who have ever had unprotected sex to get checked if they haven’t already. It’s a very quick and simple test. It can mean facing difficult decisions but it’s better to know and get treatment early.”

John McKernaghan from the Brunswick Centre, said: “We provide appointments which can be out of hours and at weekends, and at a range of venues in Calderdale. People can get their results in 20 minutes, and if needed can be treated quickly at NHS sexual health services at Broad Street Plaza, Halifax.”

Other drop in sessions for HIV testing are held at St Augustine’s Centre, Halifax, from 12 noon to 1pm on the fourth Tuesday of every month, or you can ring the Brunswick Centre on 01422 341764 to make an appointment.