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World AIDS Day reminds us of importance of early testing

Published: 22 November 2018

In preparation for World AIDS Day we’re urging people who may be at high risk of HIV to take advantage of a free, at home, test kit.

World AIDS Day
Rocking the Ribbon: Councillor Carol Hart, Director of Public Health Dean Wallace and our public health team members Andrew Raynor, Caroline Waller and Mary Hague are raising awareness of World AIDS Day and the importance of early testing.

Public Health England funds at home test kits to help with early diagnosis of the condition.


World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year and this year’s campaign is asking for people to ‘Rock the Ribbon’.

It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:

“HIV testing is key to prevention and effective treatment.

“Evidence shows that early diagnosis can make a big difference to the quality of life of someone with HIV.

“The benefits of testing leading to early treatment also reach beyond the individual, having wider public health benefits, including reducing the risk of passing the virus on to other people.

“That’s why we’re urging people to visit Your Sexual Health Matters and order a free test.”

In 2016, it was estimated that there were 89,400 people living with HIV infection in England, of which an estimated 10,400 were unaware of their infection.

Improved treatment for HIV means those diagnosed early can have a life expectancy similar to that of people who are HIV free.

In 2017 in Derbyshire 50% of adults diagnosed with HIV were diagnosed at a late stage of infection and reducing late HIV diagnosis is a key public health priority.

Councils now have responsibility for public health and commissioning sexual health services. 

HIV testing and outreach services are a part of this, whether in GP practices, sexual health clinics or in community settings.

Derbyshire has a free, confidential sexual health service – Your Sexual Health Matters - that offers services such as screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV testing, sexual health information and support.

You can order a free, home HIV testing kit.

You can also find out more about HIV and STIs at Your Sexual Health Matters or contact the central booking line tel: 0800 328 3383.