Every year since 1987, 1st December has been known as World
Aids Day. This year, Mens Sexual Health is launching our new campaign; Know Your Status. With a month to go until the big day, we are dedicating the month of
November to encouraging everyone to
book an appointment at the local GU clinic to check their HIV status. The most
important reason for this campaign is that an estimated 1/3 of people living
with HIV in the UK are unaware of their infection - thats around 22,000
With this new campaign we ask people to make the promise to:
Know your HIV status
Never assume anyone elses status and
Keep informed about all sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Know Your Status.
We encourage you to get tested and find out if you are HIV positive (HIV+ve) or HIV negative (HIV-ve), especially if you have ever put yourself at risk and never been tested before. Dont live in doubt. Once certain of your status, the knock on effects are multiple. If you test positive youll know now to protect those who you are sexually active with by keeping sex safe. This can reduce new cases of HIV. If you know you are virus free, you can commit to staying that way, by using condoms. Testing and knowing your status now, when you dont even necessarily feel ill, will also reduce late diagnosis HIV. Effective medications are available, and early treatment leads to improved outcomes for you and decreased transmission to others. People who are diagnosed and treated early have better long-term health outcomes and minimize their risk of spreading the infection to others.
Never Assume Anyone Elses Status.
With 1/3 of the HIV+ve population unaware of their status, dont ever assume that the person you are having sex with is free from the virus! If someone you're going to have sex with doesn't mention HIV, it doesn't necessarily mean that he has the same HIV status as you. It just means he's chosen not to talk about it. There is also an assumption and a stereotype that you can spot a person who has HIV, by the way they look, how healthy or sick they appear, but this is a very bad idea. In reality you cant actually tell.
Keep Informed on all Sexually Transmitted Infections.
It is not just HIV that people need to be aware of; there are lots of other sexually transmitted infections, many of which have no signs or symptoms. So when you go to get screened for HIV, get a full MOT and request to be checked for all STIs. When you are infected with an STI it makes it more likely for you to acquire a second infection, even HIV. If your immune system is weakened by one STI, another can more easily piggy back on. The best protection from STIs during sex is to wear a condom.
be touring Swindon with our campaign during November and on World Aids Day.
Check out the diary section on the calendar to see where we will be. We
have also launched a brand new Safe Sex pack; look out for these free packs in
venues across Swindon from November.
information on a range of STIs and HIV please check out our health page
If you would like to speak to a member of our staff about any of the issues raised please call on 01793 250951/07867872552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to book an HIV test at Swindon GU clinic please call the SWISH team on 01793 604038
Remember if you live in Swindon you can order FREE condoms, lube and range of sexual health leaflets from our website