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Lewisham has the 8th highest HIV rate in the UK[i], that's why NHS Lewisham CCG especially is raising awareness and encouraging self-testing for HIV this World AIDS Day, 1st  December 2017.

Lewisham residents can send off for free and easy to use HIV testing kits from the national HIV testing service www.test.hiv

The free kits are delivered to people's homes where they send back a blood sample via return of post. The kits are small and discreet with no identifying logos or markings.

Results are then texted or emailed to you within a week. You can also track your sample's progress. Anyone testing positive will be contacted directly by an expert who will advise them on the next steps to take.

Dr Marc Rowland, local GP and Chair of NHS Lewisham CCG said: "The incidence of HIV has been falling in recent years but several thousand people are still diagnosed across the UK every year. It's important for people to realise that HIV is treatable nowadays with drugs and the sooner it is diagnosed, the better."

An estimated 13% of the 100,000 people with HIV in the UK don't know they have it and approximately 1,360 of them live in Lewisham[ii]

The drive to encourage more people to use test.hiv is linked to World AIDS Day on December 1st  which raises awareness and support for those living with HIV in the UK. Forty per cent of those affected live in London.

Dr Rowland added: "It's good we've made testing as convenient and easy as possible for everyone although it's worth adding that your GP is always there to help and the local sexual health clinics.

"The simplest precaution to avoid HIV through sexual contact is to practice safe sex and always wear a condom."

For more information, go to www.test.hiv



[i] LEWISHAM JNSA http://lewishamjsna.org.uk/home/priority-outcomes/sexual-health/what-do-we-know/facts-and-figures

[ii] LEWISHAM JNSA http://lewishamjsna.org.uk/home/priority-outcomes/sexual-health/what-do-we-know/facts-and-figures