Campaign to make HIV testing easier

Coun Jean Calvert.

Coun Jean Calvert.

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Confidential testing for HIV is being encouraged as part of a new sexual health campaign.

Kirklees Council’s Public Health team is working with the Brunswick Centre and Lifeline to encourage the uptake of HIV testing by offering an anonymous, local, flexible, free and fast testing service within the community.

Part of the campaign also encourages people to keep themselves safe by using condoms.

If HIV is not diagnosed and treated it can be fatal, but with early treatment, people can remain fit and well and have a normal life expectancy.

Coun Jean Calvert, cabinet member with responsibility for public health has said: “There are around 300 people in Kirklees accessing HIV treatment with around 35 new cases each year.

“New cases often do not display any symptoms.”

Of those diagnosed with HIV in Kirkless, 30 per cent were diagnosed late, which impacts on their health and shortens their lifespan.

Coun Calvert added: “Making it easier to test for HIV in communities will help us drive down undiagnosed infections and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to the people we care about.”

The confidential testing service available at the Brunswick Centre, which has a centre in Wellington Road, Dewsbury, and Lifeline uses a simple and painless finger prick test and can provide results in 20 minutes.

Anyone who tests positive will be referred to the GUM/Sexual Health clinic.

For more information contact The Brunswick Centre on 01484 469 691 or visit www.thebrunswickcentre.org.uk, or Lifeline on 01924 438383 or visit their website www.lifeline.org.uk.