It Starts With Me
Local data shows that rates of HIV diagnosis are lower in Shropshire that national averages however a higher number of patients are being diagnosed at a late stage. A national campaign to reduce the number of new HIV infections It Starts With Me has been launched. The campaign aims to cut new infections though condom promotion and the reduction of undiagnosed HIV infection through increased testing. More testing means more people aware of their status, making them better placed to prevent HIV being passed on. As a positive diagnosis leads to viral load reducing treatment, increased testing will also reduce infectiousness on the individual and community level. Early diagnosis and treatment leads to better health outcomes in the future
The campaign also promotes condom use to ensure that any reduction in infections that result from increased testing and treatment are not wiped out by a rise in unprotected sex. ‘Test. Treat. Protect. Take Action’ runs across the campaign as a call to action. It Starts With Me stresses the role of the individual responsibility we all have in stopping the spread of HIV.
Shropshire Public Health team are promoting this campaign locally, and are offering free HIV self-sampling test kits. These can be obtained by visiting https://www.test.hiv/