HIV on the increase
According to a report by the BBC yesterday the Health Protection Agency (HPA) reported that the number of gay and bisexual men being diagnosed with HIV in the UK reached an "all-time high" in 2011. The total number of people living with HIV in the UK rose to 96,000, up from 91,500 the previous year.
This all-time high rate of diagnosed HIV in gay men is compounded by the numbers of gay men that are infected with HIV but who are unaware.
It is estimated that one in four men are unaware that they have been infected. It is a sad position to be in given the level of awareness of HIV, the testing that is available and the generally well-known protection that can be taken.
In 2010 the HPA reported that 1 in 20 Men who have sex with men (MSM) are HIV positive with as many as 1 in 11 in London.
With figures like this it is vitally important that gay men protect themselves through the use of suitable condoms and that they are tested regularly for infection. If you are unaware that you are infected then you not only increase the risks to your own health but you also present a risk of infection to others.
The treatment for HIV has been improved over the past few decades and treatment is available which is one of the reasons it is best caught early.
At Southdowns we offer discrete appointments at a time to suit you. We understand that for many people this can be a very stressful thing to do and we aim to make it as simple as possible. Our service is friendly, confidential and supportive. With working hours it can be difficult to fit in health checks which is why we can offer evening appointments to suit your diary.
We offer2 kinds of test an instant HIV test with results in 2 minutes and a HIV Antibody and p24 Antigen test which is accurate to 99.8% the results for this are usually available within 2 days.
Instant HIV test
If the exposure was more than 90 days ago you can take our Instant HIV test which will give you results in just 2 minutes, cutting out the need for further worrying and waiting.
2 day HIV test results
If you were exposed to the situation more recently e.g. more than 28 days ago then you will need to take our HIV Antibody & p24 Antigen test which is 99.8% accurate.
This test is suitable for those people who believe they may have been exposed to the virus more than 28 days ago. This involves a simple blood test by one of our fully qualified, registered and insured GP's. Results are usually available within 2 days and we are there to discuss the results, ensure you are fully informed and help you with the way forward.