December 1 is World Aids Day and residents are again being encouraged to get tested for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and to wear a red ribbon, the universal symbol for HIV, uniting with people around the world in the fight against the virus. World Aids Day marks support for the 34 million people worldwide living with HIV and for those 35 million people who have lost their battle against the disease.
HIV attacks the body’s immune system and is contracted through infected bodily fluids, most commonly through sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles or syringes. A HIV test – a simple blood test or saliva test can provide essential diagnosis to reduce the risk of serious illness and to stop the spread of the condition.
This year the headline from Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group is that with early detection and appropriate treatment “someone living with HIV should have a near average life expectancy now”, says Chair Adrian McLachlan. Therefore in addition to preventative safer sex and avoiding blood borne transmission such as unsafe injecting practices, “we are actively promoting testing to avoid late diagnosis”.
Test test test
“Last week was National HIV Testing Week and I think that should be the message again for World Aids Day,”echoes Pandora, who was diagnosed 11 years ago.
“Test test test… Only if you know your status can you take control of your health.”
Do it London
London’s boroughs have got together to tackle the high incidence of HIV in the capital in a media campaign called Do it London, which is promoting testing. Meanwhile, the Safer Partnership will be delivering HIV prevention initiatives locally for Lambeth, holding events to encourage and offer free, easy and confidential testing for HIV.
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Africa Advocacy invites you to World AIDS Day 2015
1 Dec 2015 – 2 – 6pm
All Saints Community Centre, 105 New Cross Road, London, SE14 5DJ
Focus on HIV prevalence, co-infections, mental health and self-management.
Delicious buffet will be served.
Further information on tel no: 020 8698 4473/07533620011 or email: email@example.com
For more information on World Aids Day visit www.worldaidsday.org