Every year, in the last week of November, organisations across Europe unite to promote European Testing Week.
The campaign aims to increase awareness of HIV and hepatitis C testing, and to encourage people who have been at risk to access regular testing.
As part of the European Testing Week campaign, we want to highlight our top 5 reasons to test:
- It’s quick and easy: most HIV and hepatitis C tests involve taking a small sample of blood (either from a finger prick or your arm), and some can return results while you wait.
- It’s confidential and convenient: there are now lots of testing options available – from clinics and GPs to community services and home testing – so you can find the test that’s right for you.
- It puts you in control: if you have a positive test, don’t panic. Effective treatments mean that hepatitis C can be cured and HIV can be managed well, allowing you to live a long, healthy life. In fact, HIV treatments can reduce the level of the virus to the point where it is undetectable and cannot be passed on.
- It lets you get on with your life: whether a test is positive or negative, once you know your status, you can do something about it.
- It can help put an end to HIV and hepatitis C: an estimated 12% of people HIV and 45% of people with hepatitis C do not know they are living with these conditions. By reducing the number of people who are living with undiagnosed HIV or hepatitis C, we can reduce the chances of them unknowingly passing on an infection, helping to reduce the number of new infections.
When it comes to testing for HIV and hepatitis C, there are now more options than ever – from sexual health clinics and GPs to community services like SX at Waverley Care. Most tests involve giving a small sample of blood from a finger prick, and some tests will give results while you wait. You can find out more about testing here.
We are particularly keen to encourage people who may have been at risk to come forward for testing. Check out the STIs page to find out more about how HIV and hepatitis C are transmitted.