Getting tested for HIV is really quick and easy. Getting any kind of test can be daunting, but here's five reasons why there's no need to worry.
1. It only takes 20 minutes for your results to come back
Some methods of HIV testing don't give you results then and there, but with fingerprick testing, one of our staff members will be able to talk you through your results in 20 minutes. We have free fingerprick HIV testing drop-ins, on the last Wednesday and Thursday of every month, in Hanley. Our team are super friendly so you'll always receive a warm welcome!
2. It's just a little prick!
Our HIV fingerprick tests don't need a huge amount of blood, so no needles are involved. All we need to do is prick your finger. It's pretty painless, and over in about half a second; most people are surprised by how quick it is.
3. Rates are higher in some communities
Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK's leading HIV charity, say: "Anyone can get HIV but people from some groups or parts of the world are more likely to be affected. In particular, men who have sex with men and black African people are disproportionately affected."
Find out more about HIV statistics in the UK on Terrence Higgins Trust's website.
4. You might not realise you have it
About 80% of people infected with HIV experience a short, flu-like illness (fever, sore throat, body rash) a few weeks after infection. But this “80%” statistic means that the other 20%, or 1 in 5, won’t have any symptoms at all. Even for those who do have the flu-like illness, after it passes, HIV may not cause any other symptoms for several years. This means it can go undiagnosed and start to damage your body.
5. Treatment means you can live a long and happy life
When someone with HIV takes their medication properly, they can reach a point when they have an “undetectable viral load”. This means the levels of HIV are so low that the virus cannot be passed on, and people’s immune system stays healthy. Getting tested for HIV regularly means that if you get a positive result, you can get this medication early, and have normal life span.
Getting diagnosed early not only helps you to take good care of your health, but can stop the virus being passed on to partners. You staying healthy is also important for those who care about you, like friends and family.
Visit www.20mintesting.co.uk to see when the next drop in sessions are.
Watch our HIV testing demonstration video below!