Lancashire County Council is supporting national HIV Testing Week by encouraging people who are most likely to be affected by the disease to take a test.
Starting tomorrow, a number of events will be held across Lancashire.
They include ones at Oblivion Bar in Preston tomorrow from 9pm to midnight, UCLAN Preston Opportunities Centre on Monday from 9am to 1.30pm, the Healthier Living office in Preston on Wednesday from 2pm – 4pm. Preston Women’s Centre on Monday from 3pm – 4pm and University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus on Tuesday from 11.30am to 1.30pm.
There are around 107,000 people living with HIV across the country and around 429 in Lancashire. Around a quarter of people with HIV are unaware they have it.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, LCC director of public health, said: “It’s vital that we diagnose more people to help prevent them passing it on to others. Early diagnosis can also help ensure people have a much better chance of living healthily for many years. Although there is still no cure for HIV, there are effective treatments available and with the right drug therapy, people with HIV can have a life expectancy that almost matches that of people who are not infected.”
Public Health England has also launched a free home HIV sampling kit, so that people can take a simple finger-prick test in the privacy of their own home. Visit http://www.freetesting.hiv.