World AIDS Day 2015: Getting to Zero

The theme for 2015 was chosen by a international group including UNAIDS who are working to reduce HIV across the world. Getting to Zero has been the strategy for the past five years – it's a laudable target but is it possible?

We do know that certain groups, black people and gay men in particular, have large numbers of people living with undiagnosed HIV within their communities (35% and 24% respectively). While these people are unaware and untreated the goal of getting to Zero is impossible to achieve.

This is a big problem not only for those who have sex with undiagnosed people, but mostly for those who are unaware they are HIV positive. Research clearly shows that the earlier a person starts HIV medication the healthier they will be. If HIV is undiagnosed and consequently untreated the virus will continue to multiply in numbers (this is known as an HIV positive person's viral load). HIV slowly damages and breaks down the immune system, only showing when you have to see a doctor who then searches for reasons for your illnesses.

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National HIV Testing Week 2015
National HIV Testing Week 2015

HIV Testing Week 2015: How and why to get tested

HIV testing is now simple, fast and nearly always free and you can even do it by post. With National HIV Testing Week 2015 starting on November 21, we have put together a new guide to testing; including information on how to order a postal test online.

During HIV Testing Week itself, you can order a free HIV test anywhere in the UK, so this is a great time to make sure you know your status and to help yourself and your community.

Read our HIV Testing article.

November 2015: A new future for the Men's Sexual Health website

After the disappointing closure of the Men's Sexual Health service in the spring of 2014, the website was frozen while new funding sources were investigated. Unfortunately no new funding for a gay men's health service in Wiltshire and Swindon could be secured.

However, we are pleased to announce that Wessex Community Action has generously agreed for the creators of the original website (which began in 1996) to take over the Men's Sexual Health name and website to ensure the good work of the website can continue to support gay men not only in Wiltshire, England where the service began but to all gay and bisexual men wherever they are.

Huge thanks to Wessex Community Action for helping us to make this happen, and to Matt, Mara and Debrah who were there at the end.

We will soon be getting together to discuss our ideas for developing the website, but if you have any ideas we'd love to hear them.

The Top 5 STIs

We have a new page which looks at the top five diagnosed Sexually Transmitted Infections, and how these may have increased or decreased over the previous ten years.

We look in depth at each one and how to treat and prevent them

Find out all about the top 5 STIs here.

End of service in Wiltshire and Swindon

It is with great sadness and regret that after operating across Wiltshire and Swindon for many years, the Men’s Sexual Health service ceased at the end of February 2014 due to a lack of available funding.

We hope that we have contributed to a better quality of life for many of our service users; improved sexual health across the Swindon and Wiltshire area and advocated on behalf of those who needed us.

If you are in the Swindon area and need advice on sexual health matters in the future you should visit the Swindon Sexual Health website: or call them on 01793 604038.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout our long history and especially since Wessex Community Action took over the management of the project from the NHS in 1996.

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