A new campaign has launched to encourage Liverpool people to get tested for HIV. People at
higher risk of HIV in Liverpool can order a free confidential home-sampling kit from
The campaign is mainly directed at the two groups that continue to be disproportionately
affected by HIV in England: men who have sex with men (MSM) and black African people.
Around 800 people are living with HIV in Liverpool, of which an estimated 160 people are
unaware that they have the infection. Since these people are unaware that they are living with
HIV, they are not accessing life-saving treatment and care, and risk spreading infection to
HIV is most commonly spread by sex and the exchange of blood, semen or vaginal fluid, for
example, through sex without a condom or through sharing needles to inject drugs. It can
also be spread from mother to baby before or during birth or by breastfeeding.
Sandra Davies, Director of Public Health, Liverpool City Council said: “If you do have HIV, the
sooner you find out, the better. The latest research shows the benefits of starting treatment
as soon as possible to stop the virus damaging the immune system. Through this campaign,
we want to reach out to people at most risk of HIV who may never have had a test, and make
it as easy as possible for them to get tested.”
Individuals who are most at risk are recommended to test at least once each year. There are
now highly effective treatments for HIV. If the infection is diagnosed early, when a person is fit
and well, and they get treatment and care, they can expect to live a long and healthy life.
The HIV sampling kits are free to order online for people at higher risk. It is a finger-prick test
which you then send off in the post for analysis.
Steve Earle, Sahir House Services Manager said: “Although having a HIV test is a life changing
decision for some people, the fantastic advancements in medication over recent years means
that knowing your status as soon as possible can help people to live well with HIV. I sometimes
meet people who have waited a while to choose to test and most agree that they wish it was
something they had done sooner as with the medical and social support that is available, people
are able to get on with the rest of their lives.”
There are lots of services in Liverpool which offer free confidential HIV testing. If you
need more information about sexual health services in Liverpool please visit
People who live in Liverpool at higher risk of HIV can order a free HIV home sampling
kit from: www.freetesting.hiv