National HIV testing week (21-25 November 2015) is an opportunity to highlight the changing face of HIV infection in London and to highlight the ongoing need to emphasise the benefits of testing and early diagnosis of HIV.

Approx 35,000 people are diagnosed with HIV and accessing care in London. However there are approximately another 8,000 people who live with this infection but remain undiagnosed.

There is a huge need to normalise HIV testing amongst both clinicians and the general public to ensure that opportunities for testing and early diagnosis are not missed. Someone living with HIV can now expect a normal life expectancy.

The benefits of early testing are not just for the individual with HIV who can have near normal life expectancy but also for wider public health. An individual who knows their HIV status is much less likely to pass the infection on.

Sexual health services in Wandsworth are offering additional rapid HIV test services at the Courtyard Clinic (8am -7pm Monday – Friday) during HIV testing week. There will also be rapid HIV testing available at Doddington Health Centre on Wednesday 25th November from 5-7pm and at Balham Health Centre on Friday 27th November from 5-7pm. Rapid testing involves taking only a finger prick of blood and results are ready within minutes. Staff will be available at all test sites to answer any questions.

A number of other initiatives are also happening within the trust, including a grand round, an email to all consultants and CNS, and a testing initiative in outpatients.

A number of other events are occurring across London and Nationally.