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Saturday, February 24, 2024

- From Our Supporters -

Life is full of testing times…. National Testing week is one of them

I was late.

Late for work and late for my meeting. I’d woken that morning feeling like I’d been drained of all energy and life.
When routine blood results showed abnormalities, I was referred to a Haematologist. More bloods were taken, and this time though, she was going to test for blood-borne viruses.
I was late.

Late realising that I’d been exposed. Late being diagnosed. My body fought a war I didn’t even know had begun.
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, they call it. It’s a rare form of hypertension, has no cure, and is progressive. It’s much more common in people living with HIV, especially those that are diagnosed late.

Medication hasn’t worked for me, and so the only option I have is to wait for a full lung transplant if a matching donor can be found before it’s too late.

Late…seems to be the recurring theme, doesn’t it?
It’s important to be tested for HIV regularly. Whether its using a clinic, testing service or ordering a home test, it’s easy.
Around 6000 people in the UK are unaware they’re living with HIV. Unaware of the long term damage they could be doing to their bodies.

Positive East offers fast, free and confidential HIV and STI testing services across East London in community spaces including libraries, pharmacies, bars and clubs, community hubs, and from our mobile testing van at market spaces and parks. We also want to make testing as accessible as possible, so we offer testing in the evenings and at weekends too. If you’re HIV+ you can select to just test for STIs (gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis and hepatitis B and C). You can pre-book your test at
www.positiveeast.org.uk/hivtest 

We’re also really fortunate to have a community of people living with HIV who would welcome you to join us for socials, skills workshops and peer support.
If you’re already living with HIV and would like some advice, or you’d like some information about sexual wellbeing, you can contact Positive East by calling 020 7791 2855 or emailing
talktome@positiveeast.org.uk

If you want to test outside of East London, as a member of the GMI Partnership along with Spectra and Metro, we offer HIV testing at LGBTQ+ led venues. You can see where GMI Partnership are testing next at https://gmipartnership.org.uk/events 

The only way to know your HIV status is to take a HIV test.
It’s quick, painless and with no risk.
The only risk is NOT knowing.

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