There has been a lot of recent media coverage about the complacency of some medical professionals in putting people forward for HIV testing, as well as some people’s attitude towards the virus.
In the last few years, since HIV moved from a “death sentence” to a “manageable condition”, the rate of new infections has increased in many countries in the world, including the UK. However, there is still no cure, and without daily medication, people can still become very ill with HIV and related illnesses.
Early diagnosis of HIV is key to successful treatment to prolong the life of the patient and to help to prevent them from passing it on to new partners. Research by the BBC has shown that over half of people in the East and Midlands region of England were diagnosed late. With counsellors reporting that GPs did not recognise the early HIV symptoms and did not suggest an HIV test. Many GP practices will not do HIV tests and will refer patients to GUM clinics. The Royal College of General Practitioners refutes the criticism.
It is estimated by Public Health England, that 1 in 5 people in the UK with HIV are not aware of their status. This means that they are more likely to transmit the virus and are putting their long term health at risk.
If you are worried about HIV, then Better2Know is here to help you get tested, and get your results as fast as possible. We have a choice of tests depending on when your last potential exposure (or last sexual contact) was, starting from just ten days, to rapid results while you wait, if it has been at least 26 days. If you do test positive, we can help you with your next steps, as they are best for you. We will help you to get a confirmation test, and provide you with access to support and advice. We are supported by the Terrence Higgins Trust who will be able to help you access services near you.