Last Friday, as part of National HIV Testing Week, the fantastic team at Terrence Higgins Trust came to the office to give me a free, fast and easy HIV test. A very simple finger-prick blood test, and a mere 20 minutes later I had a result.

Getting an HIV test has never been easier. But new figures released by Public Health England indicate that, although we’re seeing a decline in new HIV infections, 44 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV in Bristol are diagnosed late.

It’s why I was happy to support National HIV Testing Week in encouraging others to know the benefits of testing; and to work with Terrence Higgins Trust to help end the stigma that still surrounds HIV and testing for it.

Effective treatment means that, if you test positive, you can live as long as anyone else and medication reduces the amount of virus in your blood to such low levels that you cannot pass on HIV.

Testing is quick and simple, and it’s one of the best weapons we have to stop the spread of HIV.

You can book a test through Unity Sexual Health in Bristol (www.unitysexualhealth.co.uk) or you can order a free HIV test kit online at www.test.hiv.

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