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Check your HIV status

by Laura Johnston

HIV Testing Week, 5 to 11 February, is a national campaign to promote free HIV testing among the most affected population groups in England.

Regular testing helps to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV and those diagnosed late.

Most new infections come from unprotected sex with someone who doesn’t know they have HIV as people can live with HIV for a long time without any symptoms, so testing is the only way to know your HIV status.

Testing for HIV is confidential, free, quick and easy and now it can be done in the comfort of your own home by taking a self-test (either a blood finger-prick or oral swab test) with just minutes to wait before finding out your HIV status.

If you test positive, finding out means you can start treatment, stay healthy 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.

There are many ways to test – at a sexual health clinic, your GP, through HIV and sexual health charities or by ordering a test online.

Anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment and support.

For more information visit HIV Prevention England.

Local support

Merseyside Charity, Sahir House, provides free support to any Knowsley residents affected by HIV. You can speak in confidence with one of the HIV support workers by phoning 0151 673 1972 or emailing info@sahir.uk.com.

Information about the range of support and advice available can be found on the Sahir House website.

Axess is the free sexual health service for Knowsley, they can help with any sexual health concerns and provide virtual and face to face support, you can find out more here https://www.axess.clinic/. Axess runs Knowsley’s main clinic at The Arch in Huyton.

Information events

During HIV Testing Week Sahir House will be holding a pop-up stand with information about testing for HIV, how to access your local sexual health services, HIV prevention resources and information on new treatments to prevent onward transmission of HIV:

Tuesday 6 February

11am to 2pm

One Knowsley, The Studio, Courtyard Room, Cout Hey Park, Huyton

Sahir House is hosting further events across the Liverpool City Region during HIV Testing Week.