HIV home testing figures in Hertfordshire hits 1000
Published: 12 Oct 2017
A service that enables people to take a free HIV test in the privacy of their own home has carried out its 1000th test since the scheme was launched in 2015.
The service allows people at higher risk of HIV infection to order a free self-sampling kit from a secure website, mailed to an address of their choice, and then return a self-taken blood sample for testing. So far, seven tests have come back reactive, which were then confirmed by a further test carried out by the local sexual health service.
In 2016, there were 1,119 people living with diagnosed HIV in Hertfordshire, however estimates suggest that 13 per cent of those living with HIV are unaware of their infection.
This means that people risk having poorer health and passing the infection on to someone else. Getting a simple HIV test could change that.
Cabinet Member for Public Health, Richard Roberts, said: “We want to help our residents stay healthy in every aspect of their lives, but keeping an eye on our sexual health is something we often ignore.
“The HIV late diagnosis rate is going down slowly in Hertfordshire, however testing - and testing early - remains vitally important to people’s health and wellbeing.
“That’s why we want to make it as easy as possible for people to do. The online testing scheme is a valuable service for our residents and we are very pleased to see that it has been so successful.”
Condoms provide great protection against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy. You can get free condoms from your local sexual health clinic.
To find out more about how to test in the privacy of your own home visit www.test.hiv
To find you nearest sexual health service visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/sexualhealth or call Sexual Health Hertfordshire on 0300 008 5522