Council calls for Tower Hamlets HIV tests

National HIV Testing Week is the last week of November and World AIDS Day is on December 1

National HIV Testing Week is the last week of November and World AIDS Day is on December 1 - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets Council is encouraging residents to be tested for HIV.

It is in support of National HIV Testing Week, held from November 22-29, in the build up to World AIDS Day on December 1.

The week encourages those most at risk – black African and Afro-Caribbean people and gay and bisexual men – to take a HIV test.

An early diagnosis means those with the virus can have access to treatment and care as well as reduce the likelihood of it being passed on.

It is most commonly passed on through unprotected sex but can also be transmitted through sharing infected needles and from mother to baby during childbirth if she is HIV positive.

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Dr Somen Banerjee, Director of Tower Hamlets Public Health said: “Getting tested for HIV infection as early as possible is vital.

“We are working with partner organisations locally to offer even more opportunities to get tested and identify people who may not be aware that they are infected.”

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There are around 100 Tower Hamlets residents who are diagnosed with HIV each year, but it is estimated there are around 400 people who do not know they have it.

A range of testing sites will be provided throughout the week and the result is available within minutes.

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