This national HIV testing week, local councillors are getting tested, and urging the government to fund more testing in MK Hospital A&E.
Councillors Emily Darlington and Jane Carr have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP, urging the government to fund opt-out HIV testing at Milton Keynes University Hospital A&E.
Labour Councillor Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities said: “We need the government to fund effective HIV testing at A&Es in all high HIV prevalence areas, including Milton Keynes. With the proper funding and resources, together we can work to end new cases of HIV by 2030.”
Liberal Democrat Councillor Jane Carr is the Cabinet Member responsible for Public Health, and is encouraging residents to get tested for HIV: “The test is so quick and easy; you can even do it at home by ordering a test online. I would urge as many people as possible to test if they don’t yet know their status.”
The Terrence Higgins Trust is the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, and each year promotes National HIV Testing Week to highlight and destigmatise HIV testing.
Richard Angell, Campaigns Directors of Terrence Higgins Trust said: “This National HIV Testing Week we want to encourage everyone to test for HIV and know their status. This knowledge is key to getting on treatment quickly or learning the best way to stay negative with condoms or PrEP, the HIV prevention drug.
“However, to find the 4660 people living with undiagnosed HIV in England, HIV testing must become normalised in the NHS. Milton Keynes needs opt-out HIV testing at the MK University Hospital A&E and the government should provide funding to make this happen locally and not just outside London, Brighton and Manchester. The leadership of the council pressing for action and working towards ending new cases of HIV by 2030 is vital – together we can ensure everyone knows their HIV status.”