The Sexual Health Centre will be offering free testing in a number of venues for European HIV-Hepatitis Week:

Monday 20th of November:
Hep C & Rapid HIV testing at Arbour House
Rapid HIV testing at the Sexual Health Centre (Please ring us on 0214276676 for an appointment)

Tuesday 21st of November:
Hep C & Rapid HIV testing at Arbour House
Rapid HIV testing at the Sexual Health Centre (Please ring us on 0214276676 for an appointment)

Wednesday 22nd of November:
Rapid HIV testing at the Sexual Health Centre (Please ring us on 0214276676 for an appointment)
Rapid HIV testing at Chambers, Washington Street from 6 PM – 8PM

Thursday 23rd of November:
Rapid HIV testing at the Sexual Health Centre (Please ring us on 0214276676 for an appointment)

Friday 24th of November:
Rapid HIV testing at the Sexual Health Centre (Please ring us on 0214276676 for an appointment)

Sunday 26th of November:
Rapid HIV Testing at The Loft from 2PM – 5PM

What is European HIV & Hep C Testing Week?

Testing week is an initiative that was launched by HIV in Europe in 2013 to help more people to become aware of their HIV status. Now in its fifth year and the third time hepatitis testing has been included, European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week will take place from 17-24 November 2017.

European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week offers partners across Europe the opportunity to unite to increase awareness of the benefits of HIV and hepatitis testing among those who are at risk. In 2016, more than 500 organisations from across 53 countries took part in testing week and thousands more people are now aware of their HIV and hepatitis status. Through united efforts, we hope that testing week 2017 is an even greater success.

What are the aims of testing week?

The ultimate goal of European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week is to make more people aware of their HIV and/ or hepatitis status and reduce late diagnosis by communicating the benefits of testing. The theme for this year’s testing week is Test. Treat. Prevent., with the aim of supporting ongoing dialogue between all partners in the HIV and hepatitis communities, in order to:

  • Encourage people who could be at risk of HIV or hepatitis to get a test
  • Encourage healthcare professionals to offer an HIV or hepatitis test as part of routine care in specific settings and conditions (in line with present European guidelines)
  • Support and unite community organisations to scale up access to HIV and hepatitis testing as far as possible and share lessons learned between countries
  • Make more government bodies aware of the individual, societal and economic benefits of HIV and hepatitis testing initiatives and how to evaluate testing practices.

Why is testing week needed?

Today, at least one in three of the 2.5 million people living with HIV in Europe are unaware that they are HIV positive. Half of those living with HIV are diagnosed late – which delays access to treatment.

Hepatitis B and C are common among people at risk of and living with HIV. Around 13.3 million people and 15 million people are living with hepatitis B and C in the WHO European Region, respectively. As the disease is often asymptomatic and left untreated, chronic hepatitis is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and live cancer. The majority of people with hepatitis C remain undiagnosed and only a small minority in Europe (3.5%) receive treatment.

These statistics suggest that we need to be doing more to encourage individuals who are unknowingly living with HIV and/ or hepatitis to take a test, and to better target people who could be at risk.

Why is testing important?

It’s better for people at risk of HIV and/ or hepatitis to know their status as soon as possible. Today, HIV treatments advances mean that people living with HIV can live healthily for a long time if they are diagnosed early and those with hepatitis C can be cured.

When people are diagnosed with HIV and/or hepatitis late, they are less likely to respond well to treatment and more likely to have health and/or treatment-related complications.

Late presentation for HIV and hepatitis care is more costly for the healthcare system. Late diagnosis and delayed access to treatment are the most important factors associated with ongoing transmission of HIV and hepatitis and preventable related illnesses and death.