Free community testing during National HIV Testing Week
31 January 2024
National HIV Testing Week takes place from 5 to 11 February. Our sexual health service provider Spectra is hosting community pop-ups to provide quick and confidential spaces for residents to access routine STI testing and sexual health support and advice.
At their community pop-ups, Spectra will offer HIV and STI testing, as well as information about local sexual health services and one-to-one support and advice, at the following locations and times:
- Tuesday 6 February – Heatham House Youth Centre, Twickenham (TW1 1BH), 12 noon to 3pm
- Saturday 10 February – Whitton Library (TW2 7BB), 1 to 4pm
National HIV Testing Week takes place annually to promote HIV testing, raise awareness about HIV and, importantly, reduce the stigma surrounding the virus and sexual health more generally. In line with this, Spectra’s pop-ups aim to provide residents with a safe and confidential space in which they can easily access local support, information and routine testing to remain healthy and well.
Free and effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the UK has transformed HIV from a fatal infection to a manageable condition. People living with HIV in the UK can now expect to have a near normal life expectancy if diagnosed early and adhere to treatment. This is why regular testing is important to reduce the risk of being diagnosed at a later stage of HIV infection.
Over the past few years, rates of HIV testing in Richmond upon Thames have decreased, particularly among women. In 2020-21, women exposed to HIV through heterosexual contact accounted for 21% of new diagnoses made in England, so it’s important that we normalise testing, and encourage everyone to access routine testing.
Unable to attend a National HIV Testing Week pop-up? There are many ways to access local support and testing regularly:
- People aged 16 and over can order free HIV tests or book one in-person through Spectra. You can also receive an HIV test at your GP surgery or another south London sexual health clinic
- People aged 16 and over can also order free HIV and STI tests online from the following services:
- People aged under 25 living in Richmond can order free condoms, lube and chlamydia and gonorrhoea tests by visiting METRO’s online service
Up to: January 2024
Updated: 31 January 2024