February 2024

National HIV Testing Week shines spotlight on regular testing

Date of release: 6 February 2024

A series of pop-up clinics and awareness stands will be rolled out across Wolverhampton as part of National HIV Testing Week.

Latest News: 'Entrance to the Embrace building

Entrance to the Embrace building

The week-long focus starts today and aims to raise awareness about the importance of regular testing to help reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV and those diagnosed late.

HIV testing is quick, confidential and free. Early detection can provide people with the opportunity for prompt healthcare and support, but also plays a pivotal role in preventing further transmission.

The Sexual Health (Embrace) Services Team at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) is running the following clinics this week:
  • Tuesday 6 February 1pm to 3.30pm at The Mander Centre Health Hub in Wolverhampton
  • Wednesday 7 February 12pm to 3pm at Good Shepherd on Waterloo Road
  • Thursday 8 February 9.30am to 2.30pm at Pride House clinic in Wolverhampton
  • Friday  9 February 9.30am to 11.30am at New Cross Hospital Emergency Department
  • Friday 9 February 12.15pm to 2.30pm at the Recovery Near You clinic 

In the West Midlands, 7,887 people were seen for HIV care in 2022. Due to successful treatment, which ensures people with HIV have long healthy lives, half of people living with HIV are aged 50 or over.

Dr Radhika McCathie, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Service at RWT, said: “Getting an HIV test can be done easily by booking an appointment at Embrace Sexual Health Service or requesting a home test kit through our website.

“A negative test will give you peace of mind and a positive test will allow you to access excellent treatment which keeps people fit and well.

“Every year we sadly have to look after seriously ill patients who would have remained well if they had taken an HIV test earlier and had treatment sooner. Please don’t be one of those patients, make 2024 the year to have a routine HIV test.”

If you feel you have a higher risk of acquiring HIV, you may be able to take PrEP – an anti-HIV tablet that can potentially stop you getting HIV.

This can be taken daily or just before or after you have sex. PrEP is available for free from Embrace but requires a health check-up first to make sure that it’s right for you.

When taken properly, PrEP is highly effective but does not prevent pregnancy or getting other STIs, highlighting the importance of using condoms or other contraception and regular STI testing.

For more information about HIV testing services in Wolverhampton, please visit the Embrace website.