National HIV Testing Week: ‘Claim your HIV status and take control of your future’

This National HIV Testing Week (From Monday, February 6), Public Health Cornwall and sexual health charities The Eddystone Trust and Brook are urging people to ‘claim their status’ by testing for HIV.

The tests are free, quick and confidential and will help to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV.

People in Cornwall can order testing kits online or visit one of the many drop-in testing sessions being held across the county.


National HIV Testing Week runs from February 6 to 12


Anyone testing positive will be able to quickly begin treatment to prevent serious illness, enable them to live a healthy life and prevent them from passing the virus onto others.

James Mead, Development Lead for Prevention at The Eddystone Trust, said:

“We all have an HIV status, whether it’s positive or negative. This National HIV Testing Week we want to break the stigma around testing for HIV by encouraging everyone to claim their status.

“If you test positive, effective treatment means you can live as long as anyone else, and when the amount of the virus in your blood is reduced to undetectable levels, this means you cannot pass on HIV.

“Testing puts you in control and isn’t something to be afraid of. The quicker you are diagnosed, the quicker treatment can be started and the less opportunity the virus has to impact on the body.”

Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health at Cornwall Council, said:

“Modern treatments allow those living with HIV to live healthy lives but it is vital that people are diagnosed as early as possible. This means that anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to HIV should get tested as soon as they can.

“Testing for HIV puts you in control of your health and thanks to treatment, means you can live a healthy life.”

Kay Rundle, Senior Service Manager for Brook in Cornwall, said:

“This HIV Testing Week, Brook is encouraging all Cornwall residents to take charge and take a test. People aged 16 and over can order free home testing kits for STIs, including HIV, through our discreet, innovative digital service.

“This means that more people can access vital HIV testing, including those who may face barriers that prevent them from visiting a clinic. Knowing your HIV status puts you in control of your health.”

Eddystone Trust’s drop-in testing sessions offer finger-prick tests which provides a result in 15 minutes. They can also offer help and support around HIV Prevention and wider issues of sexual health.

Alternatively, free HIV self-test kits can be delivered straight to your door, equipped with detail instructions on how to use.

For more information visit The Eddystone Trust website , Brook website and the national ‘It Starts With Me’ campaign website.

Press release issued on February 6, 2023.

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