National HIV Testing Week is a campaign run by HIV Prevention England (HPE) and is running from 1-7 February. Usually, the campaign takes place in November, but the 2020 HIV Testing Week was moved to February 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is HIV Testing Week important?
Data from HPE shows that the number of people diagnosed with HIV is falling, but there is still work to do:
- 1 in 16 people with HIV don’t know that they have it. On average it takes them three to five years before being diagnosed, and during this time they may pass HIV on to sexual partners.
- 42% of people were diagnosed late in 2019. Early diagnosis is important so people can start treatment as soon as possible, and stay healthy.
What are some important things to know this HIV Testing Week?
- Testing for HIV is quick and easy, all it takes is a finger-prick test
- People can live with HIV for a long time without any symptoms, testing is the only way to know your HIV status.
- If you have HIV, finding out means you can start treatment, stay healthy and avoid passing the virus onto anyone else.
- Testing for HIV is still possible despite COVID-19 restrictions. You can test at home using HIV postal and self-test kits.
- Anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment and support.
How can I get a free test?
Our sexual health services provide free self-testing kits, which can test for HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They’re easy to order online, visit our Online Testing page to find a link for free testing kits where you live.
See our other blogs about HIV: