Kingston Council is offering free and confidential HIV testing as statistics reveal that nearly half of cases diagnosed in the town are diagnosed late.
This comes as part of the national campaign ‘It Starts With Me’ which aims to combat HIV by encouraging people to get tested.
The campaign is encouraging the nation to take an HIV test between November 16 and November 22.
Between 10-20 Kingston residents are newly infected with HIV every year and data from the Public Health England reported that nearly half of the cases within the borough were diagnosed late, the council said a statement.
“We have made some real improvements in identifying undiagnosed HIV. However, late diagnosis in Kingston continues to be a concern, and there is still so much that can be done,” said Director of Public Health for Kingston Council Iona Lidington.
The ‘It Starts With Me’ campaign is run by HIV Prevention England and takes a three-pronged approach to the disease: test, treat and protect.
Tests are available during HIV testing week in Kingston at the Market House in the Market Place.
There is a variety of different testing methods available to the public, including a finger prick test and Kingston Council is encouraging residents to come down and get one of these this week.
Free postal HIV home test kits can also be ordered on www.freetesting.hiv.