Manchester’s LGBT Foundation to run daily HIV clinics as part of National HIV Testing Week campaig…

Published: 21 November 2016 Tags: testing, clinics, hiv By John Walding

LGBT Foundation is encouraging those most affected by HIV to get tested as part of a national campaign to increase HIV testing. The Greater Manchester campaign, part of National HIV Testing Week, will target gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, and highlight the importance of regular testing, knowing your status and taking control.

LGBT Foundation will be hosting daily testing clinics across three sites in Manchester city centre and Salford from the 19-30 November. We will also be extending the hours of testing clinics at LGBT Foundation’s centre in Manchester. In addition to the testing clinics, there will be advice on window periods for testing, support available for people who experience a reactive result, and the promoting alternative testing options, including postal testing kits.

Last year, nearly 5,000 HIV positive people in Greater Manchester accessed treatment and care in the last year, an increase of 5% and the number of new diagnoses in men who have sex with men (MSM) continues to rise with 57% of all new cases, making regular testing more important.

Jawad Mahboob, men’s sexual health co-ordinator at the LGBT Foundation, explains:

“As many as 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men are living with HIV in major cities such as Manchester and a large number of people continue be unaware that they are living with it. If you are unaware you have HIV it is a danger as you may be unknowingly spreading HIV to other people, not accessing treatment and reducing your life expectancy.

“When it comes to testing, many people still feel uncomfortable about the idea of going to a GP or STI clinic. At our testing centres we offer a more comfortable environment where you can be tested and get the information you need without any embarrassing questions.”

As well as its clinics, LGBT Foundation will also be hosting a range of activities including a crafting workshop at the People’s History Museum on 27 November from 12 – 3 pm and a special screening of the “How to Survive a Plague” at Number 70 on 28November from 6.30 – 9pm.We’ll also be ensuring that our safer sex packs are available in venues across Greater Manchester alongside It Starts With Me resources.

Jawad continued: “Every time someone gets tested for HIV, we are one step closer to stopping HIV. Learning your status opens the door to the range of prevention and treatment options that can save your life and the life of someone you love.”

For further information on the clinics and events programme visit www.lgbt.foundation/NHTW or call 0345 3 30 30 30.