Do you know your HIV status?
One in seven people with HIV are unaware that they are living with HIV, but with regular testing you can make sure you are aware of your own status.
Two thousand people are being offered the chance to find out theirs in their own homes, at no cost, thanks to a giveaway by Terrence Higgins Trust.
Seven volunteers have filmed themselves doing the at-home tests in order to show how simple the process is. Nick Perry, from Hackney, said in his video: “If you know your HIV status, you can start treatment to let you live a long and healthy life and crucially, that means you can’t pass the virus on. Within a few seconds of taking the test, I can see my result. It’s as simple as that. Why wouldn’t you take the test?”
Like a home pregnancy test, you carry out the test yourself at home, and see your result in 60 seconds. Unlike postal testing, you do not need to post your sample away – you will find out your HIV status privately, in your own space, in your own time, on your terms.
Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Today, these individuals have led the way by showing just how quick and easy it is to test yourself for HIV. We’re really excited to give two thousand more people the opportunity to take an HIV test in their own homes.
"We hope these videos will inspire many others to order a free self-test while they’re available, particularly people who might not have time to go into a clinic or who do not want to wait for a result."
Dr Brady added: ‘One in seven people with HIV do not know they have it. It's never a good idea to be unsure of your HIV status. Testing puts you in control and if you do get a positive result, treatment today means you can live a long and healthy life, and will stop you from passing the virus onto others.’
The kits are being given away on a first-come, first-serve basis to people from communities most affected by HIV – gay and bisexual men, and black African men and women.
To order one of the free self-test kits, go to www.tht.org.uk/testyourself