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Transport for London and THT hold UK’s largest HIV workplace testing event

Joseph McCormick November 22, 2016

Transport for London and the Terrence Higgins trust have held the UK’s biggest workplace HIV testing event for a second year running.

The event was held amid National HIV Testing Week.

It aimed to expand on 90 TfL employees getting a HIV test in 2015, and to encourage more staff to get tested regularly.

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The tests were offered at King’s Cross St Pancras station as well as at three of TfL’s offices.

National HIV Testing Week aims to increase the awareness and accessibility of HIV testing across the UK, particularly to the key groups affected by HIV – gay and bisexual men and black African men and women. It also hopes to tackle the stigma around getting tested to normalise the process and lead to earlier diagnosis.

Dr Olivia Carlton OBE, TfL’s Head of Occupational Health, said: “We are proud to be supporting National HIV Testing Week. We believe it’s hugely important for our staff to have access to HIV testing and are aware of the benefits of getting an early diagnosis. We hope that lots of our employees take this opportunity, especially those that have not considered being tested before.”

Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, added: “Last year, TfL broke the record for the biggest workplace HIV testing event and we’re really excited that our ground-breaking partnership will return for this year’s National HIV Testing Week.

“Almost half of all new HIV diagnoses are made in London. As one of London’s biggest and most diverse employers, TfL can make a huge difference in helping to normalise HIV testing and busting stigma across the city.

“Today, if you test positive, effective treatment means you can live as long as anyone else, and when the amount of the virus in your blood is reduced to undetectable levels, this means you cannot pass on HIV. Testing puts you in control and is nothing to be feared.”

Tim Martineau, Chief of Staff, UNAIDS, said: “Globally around 43 per cent of the 37 million people living with HIV don’t know they have the virus. Initiatives like Transport for London’s workplace testing event are critically important to get people talking about HIV, to break down the barriers of stigma and to allow people to make informed decisions about their own health.”

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TfL’s LGBT+ staff network group, OUTbound, alongside TfL’s Occupational Health team have been promoting the initiative to staff internally to raise awareness and encourage participation. Employees have the opportunity to book appointments beforehand or attend a walk-in session. Within 24 hours of appointments becoming available, the testing slots on offer at one of the locations had already been fully booked.

On World AIDS Day on 1 December, the London Gay Men’s Chorus will be performing for customers at Angel Underground station. The event is being held to mark the 25 year anniversary of their first ever performance taking place at the same station. There will also be the chance to hear them sing at Tottenham Court Road Underground station that evening.

For more information on how and where you can get tested during National HIV Testing Week (19-25 November), click here.

More: Terrence Higgins Trust, TfL, Transport for London

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