World AIDS Day 1 December 2018 Get tested Image: © copyright 2018 NAT (National AIDS Trust)

Free rapid HIV tests so you can “know your status”

World AIDS Day (1 December) is dedicated to raising awareness of AIDS, which is caused by the spread of HIV infection. As well as raising awareness, it shows support for people living with HIV/AIDS and celebrates how far we have come in the fight against HIV.

This year’s theme will be “Know your status”. As part of World AIDS Day, iCaSH and Terrence Higgins Trust will be offering free confidential rapid HIV tests to encourage Bedfordshire residents to know their HIV status.

If you have ever had unprotected sex or shared needles, you could have been exposed to HIV. There’s only one way to know – GET TESTED!

The test is FREE and confidential. Please call 0300 300 3030 to make an appointment, or visit https://www.test.hiv.

Cllr Louise Jackson, Bedford Borough Council portfolio holder of Public Health said:

“To raise awareness of AIDS and show support for people living with HIV/AIDS, the Bedford town bridge will be illuminated red on the 1st December.

“It’s vital that everyone get tested regularly. In the UK, HIV diagnoses are falling meaning the spread of the virus is slowing down. Tests are free and confidential so I urge all Bedford Borough residents to know your HIV status.”

HIV Testing: 90-90-90

HIV testing is essential for expanding treatment and ensuring that all people living with HIV can lead healthy and productive lives. It is also crucial to achieving the 90–90–90 targets.

By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression. This will empower people to make choices about HIV prevention so they can protect themselves and their loved ones.

Significant progress has been made in the AIDS response since 1988, and today three in four people living with HIV know their status.

World AIDS Day 1 December 2018 Get tested Image: © copyright 2018 NAT (National AIDS Trust)