With statistics showing that a quarter of people who have HIV don’t know it yet, getting tested is the quickest way to take control of your health and access treatment if you need it. As part of National HIV Testing Week, (22-29 November), Rochdale Borough Council is encouraging anyone who thinks they may have been at risk to take the test.
You can get tested in a variety of ways:
- Attend your local GUM clinic at Rochdale Infirmary or any other GUM clinic – phone 01706 517686
- Visit your doctor.
- Contact the Lesbian and Gay Foundation for details of a rapid HIV Testing clinic run every Wednesday. Phone 0845 330 3030.
Council Leader and portfolio holder for Health, Colin Lambert said:
“At present there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but there are treatments and advice to enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life, protecting themselves and others. That’s why it’s so important to get an early diagnosis.”
The main ways the virus transmits are through unprotected sex and by sharing injecting equipment.
The council’s public health team is reminding anyone including; those who share needles, practice unsafe sex (including men who have sex with men) and those at higher risk of transmission such as sex workers, to think about whether they should have a test and get the advice they need. Health professionals are reminding people that it isn’t just HIV that can be picked up through these activities so it is also a great opportunity to get advice on other infections or health problems at the same time.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus - in most cases, the virus attacks the immune system and weakens the ability to fight infections and disease. A person with HIV is at risk of developing serious infections, which a healthy immune system would normally fight off.
In support of the ‘It Starts with Me’ campaign and in the run up to World AIDS Day on 1 December, Rochdale’s Mayor, Councillor Peter Rush, will be wearing a red ribbon all week, as a sign of his support for those living with HIV and AIDS and as a symbol of encouragement for everyone to consider HIV testing.
Visitors to Number One Riverside on 29 November will be able to chat with sexual health advisors in confidence or pick up more information.
Rochdale Council - A council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.