CheckPoint testing service launched

This week we unveiled CheckPoint, our new HIV and hepatitis testing service in Lothian,

CheckPoint offers appointments through the week, plus a weekly evening drop-in clinic on Thursday evenings, for anyone who wants to know their HIV and hepatitis status. It is based from our office at 3 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh.

The free service, which is being provided following discussions with NHS Lothian, offers rapid HIV testing with results while people wait.

There are 1,800 people in Lothian living with HIV, an estimated one in seven of whom have never been diagnosed. People with undiagnosed HIV are not able to access effective treatments that can control HIV and can actually prevent onward transmission of the virus. People who are undiagnosed are also far more likely to unwittingly pass the condition on to others.

Hepatitis C is mostly linked to shared use of injecting equipment, but can also be passed on through blood-to-blood contact, such as sharing razors or toothbrushes. Hepatitis B can also be passed on in these ways, as well as during sex, and from mother to child. In Scotland, pregnant women are routinely screened for HIV and hepatitis B to prevent transmission from mother to child.

Speaking ahead of the launch, David Cameron, our Senior Manager for Community Projects said:

“If we are serious about reducing the number of new HIV and hepatitis infections, we need to make it as easy as possible for people to get tested.

“CheckPoint will offer a mix of appointments and drop-ins to fit in with people’s lives. When people come in, we can give them all the information they need about testing, and can provide information, advice and support, regardless of the outcome.

“We want to get the message out that once you know your HIV or hepatitis status, you can take control of your health – whether that’s accessing treatment and support, or finding out about how to reduce your risk in future.

“Knowing your status is the first step and we’re excited to get CheckPoint up and running.”

You can find out more about the project here.

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