For those who can't normally visit us during our normal opening hours, we're available this Tuesday evening delivering rapid HIV tests to all who drop in.
Some people think taking a HIV test is scary, but honestly it shouldn’t be. The condition is entirely manageable. If you test positive, early detection, monitoring and effective treatment means that your life can largely carry on as before.
Incredible medical progress has been made in the last 20 years and HIV treatment is now very effective. If you are diagnosed with HIV before it has damaged your body and you are put on effective treatment, you can expect to live as long as anyone else.
HIV treatment aims to lower the amount of HIV in the body to undetectable levels. Global research, known as the PARTNER study, has found that HIV cannot be passed on when the virus is undetectable. In other words, if someone is on effective HIV treatment, it is extremely unlikely that he or she will pass on HIV to anyone else.
This is a massive breakthrough. It means that if everyone with HIV were on effective treatment, we could finally stop the spread of HIV. Until then, it is essential to use condoms to protect yourself.
For some people the idea of being tested for HIV is as simple as making a note in a calendar, an entry which sits comfortably beneath a dentist appointment and above a mother’s birthday. For others, the idea of making that appointment, or taking that long walk to the clinic, is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences they can imagine. However, in an age where the numbers of people diagnosed with HIV are increasing, has our natural fear of the unknown become a luxury we simply can’t afford?
Many years ago it was a scary disease. We called it AIDS and it became a name associated with sin and death. The massive number of infections, particularly in the gay community, were staggering, and as the death toll slowly crept up, nations across the world panicked. It’s impossible for any society to come through such a dark time and emerge unscathed, and so the fear of a silent killer left a scar on our cultural memory which has never really healed, and even in 2016, the mere mention of HIV and AIDS still has a way of stopping conversations.
Thankfully, things have changed since then and treatment for HIV is better now than it has ever been. People who have the condition are now finding that their lives have not changed completely, and they are still able to live as long and do all the same things they could before. It’s true that they now have a few additional concerns to think about but with the help of medication, HIV is now manageable.
HIV is no longer the death sentence it used to be and people are able to live, healthy and happy lives like they did before. However, this is thanks to the amazing progress we have made in treating the condition and we can only begin to do that when we make the decision to get tested and keep on top of our health. Late HIV diagnosis in Leicester is 13.8% higher than the average for England. It’s a scary prospect to some and no one takes that for granted, but by taking the chance to be tested, you could be buying yourself years of life.
GET A HIV TEST AT LASS
Our Rapid HIV testing service is available Monday-Friday between 9am – 4pm. You do not need an appointment. This Tuesday, (22nd November) we're open until 9pm.
The free test is performed at our office on Regent Road, Leicester by qualified and experienced HIV testers. The process usually takes around 15 minutes and you get the result straight away! If you’re unsure, or would like to speak to someone about HIV Testing, please contact us.