Mayor of Lambeth gets HIV test from Dr Christian to mark Testing Week
To mark HIV testing week, the Mayor of Lambeth has received a HIV test from TV’s Dr Christian Jessen.
National HIV Testing Week aims to raise awareness of the thousands of people in the UK who are unaware they are living with HIV – with one in six HIV-positive people unaware of their status.
Public Health England data last week revealed an estimated 6,500 gay and bisexual men are unaware they are living with HIV, risking further rises if they are not diagnosed and treated.
To mark the week in the lead-up to World AIDS Day, the Mayor of Lambeth Donatus Anyanwu got a HIV test today – from National HIV Testing Week Ambassador Dr Christian Jessen.
The test was carried out at St Thomas’ Hospital – which is one of two hospitals that now routinely tests A&E patients for HIV.
Dr Christian Jessen said: “I am proud to be the National HIV Testing Week Ambassador. Testing for HIV is crucial for prevention.
“The fact that diagnoses have increased is encouraging in one sense.
“If you get tested and receive a positive diagnosis, you can now immediately go onto treatment, and if you are on medication you are classed as ‘undetectable’ and the virus cannot be passed on.
“Most concerning to me is the fact that nearly one in six people with HIV do not realise they have it, so they are putting their own health at risk and HIV could unknowingly be passed on.”
In a blog for PinkNews, Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said she is “determined to reverse” the surge in HIV infections among gay and bisexual men, and announced HIV home-testing kits will be nationally available for free for at-risk groups.
Cary James of the Terrence Higgins Trust said previously: “The new figures show how important National HIV Testing Week is. If people with HIV go undiagnosed they are at risk of damaging their health and unknowingly passing on the virus.
“We need to take every opportunity to remind gay men to get tested at least once a year and more often if they are changing partners often or have been at risk.”