‘People with HIV don’t have ten heads’: HIV-positive Notts healthcare specialist encourages people to get tested

Video: HIV-positive Joe Perez talks to Notts TV

Nottingham people are being encouraged to ‘Give HIV the Finger’ and get tested for National HIV Week.

Around 750 people in Nottingham have HIV, yet it is thought another 200 people are living with the virus unknowingly.

The Terrence Higgins Trust is providing a free HIV testing service which takes no longer than 10 minutes to give either a positive or negative result.

Sandra Spence, who managers the Trust’s centre on High Pavement, said, “It’s very important that people get a regular HIV test if they feel like they have put themselves at risk. Simply because one in six people in the UK who have HIV don’t know they have got the infection.”

Once a result is obtained, the patient receives free sexual health advice and counselling from the team at the trust.

All parts of the community are being invited to take the test, which could save their life if they are diagnosed early enough.

African Healthcare Promotion Specialist, Charles Dewa said: “The major issue which we have with some Africans is they still think HIV is a killer. Some people believe they can be cured of HIV through prayer.”

Even though there is no cure for HIV, there is very effective modern medication available which enables most people with the virus to lead a long, healthy life.

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