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Newham health professionals get HIV tested to promote early screenings awareness

PUBLISHED: 16:12 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 28 November 2017

Left to right: Newham GP and clinical lead for HIV Dr James Stevenson, Cllr Clive Furness, Director of partnerships and governance Satbinder Sanghera.

Left to right: Newham GP and clinical lead for HIV Dr James Stevenson, Cllr Clive Furness, Director of partnerships and governance Satbinder Sanghera.

Newham CCG

GPs and health professionals were joined by a Newham councillor for a workplace HIV screening session to raise awareness of early testing.

Dr James Stevenson, Newham GP and clinical lead for HIV, having a point of care HIV test undertaken by local charity Positive EastDr James Stevenson, Newham GP and clinical lead for HIV, having a point of care HIV test undertaken by local charity Positive East

Dr James Stevenson, clinical lead for HIV for Newham CCG, was one of 28 people screened to mark the launch of a year-long programme aimed at increasing screening rates in Newham and tackling the disease’s stigma.

HIV prevalance in the borough is high and 40 per cent of diagnoses are classified as ‘late’, meaning those patients are more likely to have a severely damaged immune system.

People diagnosed late are 10 times more likely to die within a year of diagnosis.

Dr Stevenson said: “We know that screening and testing early is key to supporting patients to manage HIV as a long-term condition.

“In Newham we want to ensure we don’t miss opportunities to test for HIV when patients arrive at the surgery with tell-tale signs.

“As well as supporting the NHS to manage demand and the impact of late diagnosis on services, screening also helps prevent the spread of HIV.”

Cllr Furness added: “This screening session provided a valuable opportunity to find out more about HIV in the borough and the importance of screening before people have further voluntary tests.

“This approach will enable us to detect newly infected people and reduce transmission to others.”

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