This year’s theme for World AIDS Day 2010 is ‘Act Aware: Protect yourself & others’
HIV Prevention Service (part of Hampshire Community Healthcare) are about and about supporting events at local FE Colleges, Winchester University & at the Myths & Misconceptions event at The Lights in Andover tonight to raise awareness and promote safer sex as part of their World AIDS Day campaign.
Positive Action is a Hampshire based charity providing emotional & practical support to people affected by HIV.
Donna Bone, Chief Executive of the charity, said: “It is concerning that out of the 90,000 people in the UK that are HIV positive, 23,000 of them are unaware that they have the virus. Today, simple tests can be taken in minutes with the results given the same day, so there is no longer any need for people to be living in ignorance. Whilst late diagnosis can seriously impact on the quality and longevity of life.”
To highlight the issue Positive Action are trying to encourage 23,000 people in Hampshire and Surrey to wear a red ribbon – one for each person unaware that they are infected. To help raise awareness in Portsmouth the Spinnaker Tower will be lit up in red and the Civic Centre in Southampton will be flying a Red Ribbon flag on December 1st “We want the residents of Surrey and Hampshire to wear a red ribbon to show their support. We would also like to encourage people to send us photos of them wearing ribbons which we will post on our new website,” she said.
Positive Action will be collecting pictures of individuals wearing red ribbons to upload onto the website, email pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.positiveaction.org.uk for more information.
How much do you know about HIV?
If you’re having unprotected sex then you may find out more than you want to know.
HIV can be passed on through:
unprotected sex (sex without a condom); through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluid)
- sharing infected needles and works
- from an HIV positive mother to her child during pregnancy, child birth or breastfeeding
Anybody can become infected with HIV however men who have sex with men and people who have sexual partners from sub-Saharan Africa are most at risk and are encouraged to be tested for HIV on a regular basis.
There is no cure for HIV and no vaccine to prevent you from getting it.
More than a quarter of people with HIV in the UK don’t know they have it and many people diagnosed with this virus will be diagnosed late – AFTER the point at which they should have started treatment.
However, if you have had unprotected sex and are worried about HIV then a quick and simple test can be done at any of Hampshire’s sexual health clinics (GUM) and you can also request a test at your GP surgery.
REMEMBER – the earlier the diagnosis, the greater chance you have of living a longer and healthier life.
The only way to find out if you’ve got HIV is to be tested for it. You can ask your GP for an HIV test or attend a local GUM / sexual health clinic. Use the GET IT ON website to find out more information about sexual health and to find out where your nearest clinic is.
Alternatively, you can either call ‘THT Direct’ on 0845 12 21 200 Monday to Friday 10am – 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 6pm or go to their website – www.tht.org.uk for information, support and advice on HIV and sexual health.
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