HIV tests backed after rise in cases

Tina Ramsey, one of the senior sisters, carries out an HIV test at Monkgate clinic watched by MESMAC chief executive Tom Doyle

Tina Ramsey, one of the senior sisters, carries out an HIV test at Monkgate clinic watched by MESMAC chief executive Tom Doyle

Published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , richard.catton@thepress.co.uk

PEOPLE in York are being encouraged to take a free HIV test after health bosses revealed that a quarter of people with the disease did not realise they had it.

Sexual health experts are using National HIV Testing Week, which begins on Friday, to dispel the myth that HIV is not a problem in York or North Yorkshire and are now encouraging everyone to take a free test.

Tom Doyle, chief executive of Yorkshire sexual health organisation MESMAC, said: “Sometimes people living in a nice city with a nice rural hinterland think HIV is not a problem.

“One-in-four people with HIV don’t actually know they have it but they account for 75 per cent of new transmissions.

‘‘Once people are on treatment they actually become less infectious.

Mr Doyle said heterosexual infection had now overtaken homosexual cases and that his organisation was also seeing a rise in people over 50 contracting the disease.

He said: “That’s maybe because of long-term relationships coming to an end and also the advent of Viagra. They may have also missed out on sex education at school.”

Tina Ramsey, one of the senior sisters carrying out the tests at clinics throughout the region, said: “It’s a very simple test – people come along and have a finger-prick test.

‘‘A small amount of blood is then put into a device a little like a pregnancy test.

‘‘A small amount of liquid is then applied and we have a result in 30 minutes.”

She explained that the test is not definitive but will give an indication as to whether further tests are required.

Of most serious concern to sexual health experts in the region is that latest regional figures show a 100 per cent increase on the 199 cases diagnosed in the region in 2001, compared with a UK-wide increase of 30 per cent for the same period.

The Yorkshire and the Humber region has seen the third highest proportional increase among the ten English regions of newly diagnosed cases since 2001.

To find out where you can be tested, visit www.yorsexualhealth.org.uk or go to the national clinic finder at thinkHIV.org.uk Telephone bookings can be made on 01904 721111.

Comments (4)

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9:48am Wed 21 Nov 12

bob the builder says...

Then watch your life insurance etc premiums rise when you declare that you've been tested, and watch them refuse to pay out if you don't declare it. If you think this data goes unrecorded and isn't shared, think again.
Then watch your life insurance etc premiums rise when you declare that you've been tested, and watch them refuse to pay out if you don't declare it. If you think this data goes unrecorded and isn't shared, think again. bob the builder
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Wed 21 Nov 12

MarkyMarkMark says...

And also worth a read of the book "Are you positive?" by Stephen Davis - Fictionalised account based on verifiable docs/evidence around the very iffy science "proving" that people have HIV. Of course, it could just be selective reporting of the various studies . . . .
And also worth a read of the book "Are you positive?" by Stephen Davis - Fictionalised account based on verifiable docs/evidence around the very iffy science "proving" that people have HIV. Of course, it could just be selective reporting of the various studies . . . . MarkyMarkMark
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Von_Dutch says...

Absolute rubbish and nonsense Bob. You don't even have to give your name to take a HIV test. Everything remains anonymous.
Absolute rubbish and nonsense Bob. You don't even have to give your name to take a HIV test. Everything remains anonymous. Von_Dutch
  • Score: 0

10:02am Fri 23 Nov 12

Peter Tovey says...

Having a Negative HIV test will not, of itself, have any effect on a person's acceptance terms for insurance. If someone is diagnosed with HIV they will need to declare it in the same way they would have to any other medical condition they may have.
Bob, I referr you to the Association of British Insurers www.abi.org.uk Tel:0207 600 3333
Having a Negative HIV test will not, of itself, have any effect on a person's acceptance terms for insurance. If someone is diagnosed with HIV they will need to declare it in the same way they would have to any other medical condition they may have. Bob, I referr you to the Association of British Insurers www.abi.org.uk Tel:0207 600 3333 Peter Tovey
  • Score: 0

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