People are being reminded of the importance of regular testing as National HIV Testing Week gets underway.

Run by HIV Prevention England, the annual event highlights how regular testing helps reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV, or diagnosed late.

People can live with HIV for a long time without any symptoms. Testing, which is free, quick and confidential, is the only way for people to know their HIV status. Anyone diagnosed with HIV in the UK can access free treatment and support.

Testing for HIV is also useful for HIV negative people who are considering interventions such as PrEP (pre exposure prophylaxis).

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Testing has a key part to play in our efforts to stop HIV, and it’s a good idea to get tested once a year. 

"Wolverhampton is above the England average for HIV testing, which shows there is good access to testing in the city. However, the most recent figures show that nearly half of people diagnosed with HIV were diagnosed late, so we need to get people testing earlier. 

"If you have HIV, finding out means you can start treatment, stay healthy and avoid passing the virus onto anyone else. There are many ways to test – at a sexual health clinic, your GP or by ordering a test online, so please take the opportunity to get tested this National HIV Testing Week."

For more information, and to order test kits online, visit Embrace, the Wolverhampton sexual health service, at Embrace - HIV services

Free HIV testing will be available on Wednesday (8 February, 2023) at Pride House, 27 School Street, Wolverhampton, and the University of Wolverhampton from 10am to 4pm.

For confidential and non judgemental advice and support, please contact Embrace or text on 07480 635548.

National HIV Testing Week runs from today (Monday 6 February, 2023) until Sunday 12 February. For more details, visit HIV Prevention England and It Starts With Me