Since 1988, World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December every year to support those who are living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from HIV/AIDS. [1] This year is the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Each year, a theme is set for World AIDS Day. This year the theme is ‘Know Your Status’ – emphasising the importance of regular HIV testing and knowing your HIV status. [2]

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is an infection that damages the cells in your immune system. This weakens your immune system. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a condition that happens when your immune system has been damaged by the HIV virus. This can leave you open to other life-threatening illnesses. [3] AIDS cannot be passed on, but the HIV virus can be passed on through:

  • Unprotected sexual intercourse (commonly anal or vaginal contact)
  • Sharing needles, or other contaminated objects

You can also pass on or catch HIV through direct contact with infected bodily fluids including:

  • Semen
  • Vaginal and anal fluid
  • Blood
  • Breast milk

You cannot catch HIV through sweat, urine or saliva. [3]

Since the 1980s, when little was known about HIV and AIDS, progress has been made in our understanding of HIV. This includes how to prevent HIV and how to treat HIV. [4] Despite this, 37 million people are living with HIV around the world – with a quarter not knowing they have the virus. [5]

World AIDS day is important to remind people that HIV still exists. We should do more to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. [1] You can show your support by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon, attending one of the many events that are being held in honour of World AIDS Day, or by getting tested for HIV today.

 

Anonymous HIV Testing Near Me

Better2Know’s private sexual health clinics provide confidential HIV testing across the UK. This includes:

  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Cardiff
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Glasgow
  • Manchester
  • Milton Keynes
  • Liverpool
  • Leeds
  • Aberdeen
  • Southampton
  • Swansea

Each year, around 5,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK. [1] HIV testing is important. For those who are infected, with the right treatment, you can lead a healthy and productive life. Yet, many things prevent people from getting regular tests for HIV. This includes HIV stigma and discrimination. People’s biggest concerns when it comes to HIV testing is confidentiality. [2]

Better2Know’s private STI and HIV testing services are completely confidential and anonymous. You do not have to give us your real name if this makes you more comfortable with getting tested for HIV. Better2Know’s dedicated sexual health advisors are highly trained to provide the advice and support you need. If you have any further questions regarding HIV and AIDS, or your sexual health more generally, your experienced advisor will guide you. If you are unsure which HIV test to choose, Better2Know’s expert sexual health advisors will help you select the most appropriate HIV test for you.

If you are worried about your sexual health, or your HIV status, you should get tested as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment of HIV will help prevent further problems with your health.

 

World AIDS Day Events and Campaigns throughout the UK

In celebration and support of World AIDS Day, many organisations are holding events or launching campaigns to support people living with HIV and raise awareness.

 

Better2Know

From the 17th November 2018 to the 1st December 2018, Better2Know will make a donation to the Terrence Higgins Trust, and other national HIV charities, for every HIV test that is booked with us over this period. Mike, Founder and CEO to Better2Know, says:

“Getting tested for HIV has never been more important. Your test today shows you care about your health and that of your loved ones, demonstrates your understanding of the dangers HIV infection poses to others, and underlines your commitment to making the world a better place for all. Today, I gave 20 minutes of my time and one drop of my blood to help end this epidemic. If you do the same, together we will save millions of lives”

 

UNAIDS #KnowYourHIVStatus

UNAIDS is leading the theme of World AIDS Day this year by encouraging people to know their HIV status. Michael Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, said:

“World AIDS Day is a day to remember the millions of people who have lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses, many of whom died because they couldn’t access HIV services, because of stigma, because of discrimination and because of criminalization of key populations. On this World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is campaigning for people to know their HIV status and their viral load.

“If people don’t know their HIV status, people who are living with HIV can’t start treatment, and people who are HIV-negative can’t get the knowledge and skills they need to keep that way. If people don’t know their HIV status, they can’t protect themselves, their families, their partners. If people living with HIV don’t know their viral load, they won’t be sure that the treatment is effective, protecting their health and stopping HIV transmission.” [6]

 

STOPAIDS #ENDAIDS2030

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, STOPAIDS has partnered with a number of organisations to hold an EndAIDS2030 Festival from the 26th November to 3rd December. On the 1st December, their World AIDS Day Jamm – a music event in London – will feature DJ’s, bands and world music legends. [7]

The EndAIDS2030 festival aims to raise awareness for HIV and increase political commitment and funding for HIV. [8]

 

World AIDS Day Red Run London

Hosted by Positive East, the Red Run through Victoria Park (East London) is a 10K or 5K charity run that will support 39 HIV charities throughout the UK. Since 2008, the Red Run has raised over £200,000 to support and strengthen the UK’s fight against HIV. [9]

 

Book Your Anonymous HIV Test with Better2Know Today

To arrange your confidential HIV testing appointment with Better2Know, please contact our friendly sexual health advisors on the number listed above. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. Alternatively, you can arrange your HIV test at one of our private STI clinics in the UK by selecting the orange Book Now button at the top of the page. Better2Know’s secure, online booking system enables you to organise your anonymous HIV test at any time.

 

References

[1] WorldAIDSDay.org: About World AIDS Day

[2] UNAIDS: World AIDS Day 2018 theme encourages everyone to know their HIV status

[3] NHS: HIV and AIDS

[4] HIV.gov: Global HIV/AIDS Overview

[5] UNNAIDS: Know Your Status

[6] UNAIDS: World AIDS Day message 2018

[7] STOPAIDS: ENDAIDS2030 Festival

[8] STOPAIDS: World AIDS Day Jamm

[9] Red Run: World AIDS Day RED RUN London 1st December 2018 Victoria Park

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