Leading HIV and sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a brand new service in Milton Keynes aimed at those at risk of HIV or poor sexual health.
It will encourage people to look after their sexual health and provide opportunities for more people to regularly test for HIV - people will be able to find out their HIV status in just 60 seconds using the charity’s rapid testing service.
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Milton Keynes has a high prevalence of HIV and a high rate of late diagnosis. Latest figures show 56.1% of people newly diagnosed with HIV in the area were diagnosed late, meaning the virus has already started to damage their immune system and they may have unwittingly passed it on to others.
The vital new service, which is funded through the public health team at Milton Keynes Borough Council, will help address late HIV diagnosis and will support people living with HIV.
“Testing and diagnosing people with HIV is vital, as we know that 1 in 7 people with the virus still don’t know they have it,” said Darcy Weaver, regional manager for Terrence Higgins Trust in the East of England.
“If you do test positive, effective HIV treatment means you can live a long and healthy life and will not pass on HIV to anyone else.
“Our brand new service launched will encourage more people to test and know their status, and will support people living with HIV across the city.”
Cass Knight public health principal for sexual health at Milton Keynes Council, said: “We are delighted to commission our colleagues from Terence Higgins Trust to deliver this vital prevention service. Working in collaboration, all our partners across Milton Keynes are striving to improve the sexual health of our population.”
More information about the new service can be found at www.tht.org.uk or visit the Milton Keynes Office at Brook, 624 South Fifth Street, Milton Keynes, MK9 2FX
If you have any questions about HIV, you can also call Terrence Higgins Trust’s free, confidential helpline THT Direct on 0808 802 1221.