Instant results HIV testing on Wirral

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The traditionally used oral HIV tests will be replaced by finger-prick blood tests © Wheeler Cowperthwaite/Wikimedia Commons

The traditionally used oral HIV tests will be replaced by finger-prick blood tests. Pic © Wheeler Cowperthwaite/Wikimedia Commons

A new sit-and-wait HIV test service is being launched in the lead up to National HIV Testing Week.

The fastest ever finger-prick blood test means that results can be delivered in 15 minutes, compared to the previous fastest test results which were delivered in 20 minutes.

It is all in order to encourage people to get tested for National HIV Testing Week, which begins on the 22nd November and runs until the end of the month.

HIV prevention charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, is spearheading the campaign, which aims to boost testing amongst populations most affected by HIV and increase awareness and acceptability of testing among these groups.

The charity’s centre in Birkenhead will be one of those introducing the fast results service, as well as at centres in Warrington.

Emma Richards, Centre Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust in the Wirral, said: “National HIV Testing Week gives us a great opportunity to draw attention to the importance of regular testing. The introduction of these new tests will make it quicker and easier to test for HIV in the Wirral than ever before.”

According to the charity, in 2012 there were almost 2,000 people living with HIV in Cheshire and Merseyside. One in five of those living with HIV remained undiagnosed, increasing the chances of passing it on.

She added: “There are far more reasons to know your HIV status than there are not to, so if it’s been a while since your last test, please come along to our Wednesday session, or call the centre to make an appointment at a time that suits you.”

Those attending the free and confidential service will be given information and support before and after the test. Anyone who tests positive will be referred to a specialist clinic.

Drop-in testing in the Wirral will be taking place on November 26th from 5pm to 8pm. These tests will also be taking place in Warrington on November 24th from 10am to 12.30pm and on November 26th from 11am to 2pm.

About Sophie Lockett, JMU Journalism