HIV: Getting tested is normal.
Over 1 million get tested for HIV every year in England. That's an average of approximately 3000 people per day.*
Living with HIV may not be how you imagine. Treatment and care is so advanced, if you are diagnosed with HIV and on effective treatment, you can live a normal life.
This means that:
- You can have children
- You can go to work
- You can socialise
- You can be active
- You can live as long a lifespan as someone without HIV
- And importantly you can’t pass HIV on to others**
** Research has evidenced that people on effective HIV treatment whose virus is controlled cannot pass on HIV to others.
1 in 16 people living with HIV don’t know that they have it.*
It’s important to get tested early. The earlier you are diagnosed, the earlier you can make decisions about your treatment with the support of the HIV team.
You don’t even have to see anyone to get a test and it’s free and confidential:
You can also get tested by visiting a Sexual Health Clinic and at many GP Surgeries.
In 2020, the number of people who tested for HIV at SHS in England fell by 30% from 1,320,510 in 2019 to 927,760.*
Condoms by Post
Condoms work really well in stopping most STI's from being passed from an infected partner to another. Although they are not 100% guaranteed, when used properly condoms are extremely effective. Use a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
You can access information on HIV and Sexual Health via pages on our website. Our 'Need Help' function is available 24/7. You can access this by clicking on the 'Need Help' button in the bottom right of your screen.
Find out more about HIV including what it is, how it is passed on and the risk factors in our video below.
*Public Health England (2018). Sexually transmitted infections and chlamydia screening in England: 2017. Health Protection Report: 2018138
Public Health England (PHE), 2020, Trends in HIV testing, new diagnoses and people receiving HIV-related care in the United Kingdom: data to the end of December 2019. Available from: https://assets.publishing. service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/939478/hpr2020_hiv19.pdf
**Rodger, A. J., Cambiano, V., Bruun, T., Vernazza, P., Collins, S., Van Lunzen, J., ... & Asboe, D. (2016). Sexual activity without condoms and risk of HIV transmission in serodifferent couples when the HIV-positive partner is using suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Jama, 316(2), 171-181.