European HIV/Hepatitis Testing Week 2017

Throughout this week organisations across Europe are joining together to participate in the fifth annual European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week.

The campaign aims to make people more aware of their HIV and hepatitis C status, and the benefits associated with testing.

We continue to support European Testing Week, alongside a dedicated Scottish Testing Week (which was held for the first time in September this year).

Testing Week Scotland, seeks to raise awareness of the different ways that HIV, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed on, so that people can judge whether they have been at risk. It aims to send the message that once you know your risk, you can do something about it by accessing testing.

To mark the European campaign, we thought we’d share our top 5 reasons to test:

  1. It’s quick and easy: most HIV and hepatitis C tests involve taking a small sample of blood (either from a finger prick or your arm), and some can return results while you wait.
  2. It’s confidential and convenient: there are now lots of testing options – from clinics and GPs to community and home testing – so you can find the test that’s right for you.
  3. It puts you in control: if you have a positive test, don’t panic. Effective treatments mean that Hepatitis C can be cured and HIV can be managed well, allowing you to live a long, healthy life. In fact, HIV treatments can reduce the level of the virus to the point where it is undetectable and cannot be passed on.
  4. It lets you get on with your life: whether a test is positive or negative, once you know your status, you can do something about it.
  5. It can help put an end to HIV and hepatitis C: an estimated 13% of people HIV and 40% of people with hepatitis C do not know they are living with these conditions. By reducing the number of people who are living with undiagnosed HIV or hepatitis C, we can reduce the chances of them unknowingly passing on an infection, helping to reduce the number of new infections.

You can find out more information about testing for HIV, hepatitis C and STIs, from the Testing Week Scotland site. Here you can also find information about the different ways these infections are passed on so that you can know your own risk.