Free HIV test results available with one ‘Kwik Prick’

kwikprick

By Erik Dawson

A Leicester charity is providing free weekly HIV tests which give results in minutes every Monday for gay and bisexual men.

The LGBTQ charity, Trade Sexual Health, is running the 20-minute ‘Kwik Prick’ test every Monday from its offices, in Bowling Green Street.

It runs from 12-6pm.

Makinder Chahal, Health Promotion Coordinator at Trade Sexual Health, said: “By providing regular HIV testing sessions we can allow people to get tested quicker, in a non-medical setting and then access any further support if required.”

The weekly event has been providing, free, rapid HIV tests and safer sex packs for the male LGBTQ community since 2012.

Leicester was identified as having the highest prevalence of HIV in the East Midlands by a 2019 Public Health England report.

The 2018-2019 statistics showed a record high of 3.96 cases of the virus per 1000 people in the city across the region.

With the advancements in treatment, the future is now looking brighter for people diagnosed early with the virus.

Chahal said: “Someone who is diagnosed as HIV positive and accesses medication as soon as possible can live a healthy life, up to the point where the levels of HIV in their body would get to a point where there is no chance of passing on the virus.”

The charity has noticed that there is still a taboo around HIV, which affects how many cases are diagnosed early.

“The more HIV and the medical advancements in treatment, the more people will come forward and get tested,” said Chahal.

The charity encourages donations in person with cash, or online via Virgin Moneygiving and Facebook.

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