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Know your status this National HIV Testing Day

26 June 2023

This Tuesday, 27 June, is National HIV Testing Day, an opportunity to raise awareness and encourage HIV Testing. The theme this year is “Take the test and take the next step.” 

This National HIV Testing Day, the Blood Borne Virus and GUM teams within Health and Community Services are offering “drop-in” HIV tests and other relevant sexual health tests to everyone, without a need to pre-book. 

Nationally HIV diagnoses are rising following a few years of decline. Professionals want to encourage testing as an act of self-care and recommend that everyone gets tested once as part of their routine healthcare. HIV can be transmitted from one person to another by: 

  • Unprotected sex 
  • Sharing needles 
  • Transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy/delivery 
  • Sharing injecting drug equipment 

Dr Rajesh Hembrom, Consultant in Sexual Health, HIV and Viral Hepatitis said: “HIV does not discriminate and can affect anyone. The only way to know if someone has HIV is to get tested. I really want to encourage Islanders to prioritise self-care this National HIV Testing Day and visit the Sexual Health department for HIV testing. 

“Knowing one’s status, empowers them to engage in our healthcare prevention and treatment services, to live healthy lives, regardless of their status. Testing is critical in helping end the HIV epidemic and gives individuals and communities the ability to promote health and prevent disease. 

“I want to ask my health professional colleagues to discuss HIV testing with Islanders in their care and offer testing to those who don’t know their status. We all have an opportunity to be part of a generation that stops HIV and normalise testing.” 

Michelle Mulhall, Senior Blood Borne Virus Nurse added “Early diagnosis and treatment are important as it significantly improves the health outcomes of the person with HIV and prevents onward transmission. Although there is no cure for HIV there are highly effective treatments that allow them to lead a healthy normal life. Treatments can supress the virus to undetectable levels and prevent transmission to others.” 

On 27 June Islanders will be able to attend “drop-in” testing at the Sexual Health Clinic at the General Hospital, without an appointment between 8am – 4pm. 

At busy times there may be a short wait, or you may be given an appointment for another time/day to return for testing. HIV testing is free, easy and confidential. 

To book your HIV test, please call the Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Team on 442856 between 8am and 9 am Monday to Friday or email to make a confidential appointment. 

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