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Remember World AIDS day

PUBLISHED: 15:01 28 November 2011 | UPDATED: 15:30 28 November 2011

Thursday is World AIDS day and people are urged to wear a red ribbon to show their awareness and reduce the stigma still associated with the disease.

The HIV virus attacks the body’s immune system – the body’s defence against diseases. HIV can be passed on through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.

Ian Basnett, Director of public health for NHS East London and the City, said: “In recent years there has been a dramatic improvement in the quality of life of people infected with HIV. HIV is a treatable condition but we can only treat it successfully if we have a diagnosis; people who are diagnosed early can live healthy lives and reduce the risk of passing the infection to others. If you have had unprotected sex it is important to have the HIV test.”

If you want to know more about HIV or AIDS or if you have had unprotected sex and want to know where you can get confidential advice and get tested for HIV locally visit the SHO-me or the NHS Choices websites and enter your post code (www.Sho-me.nhs.uk or www.nhs.uk).

For world AIDS day there are a number of events and clinics being run to both raise awareness and so people can have an HIV test.

Newham HIV/AIDS Prevention Partnership will be at City Gate House - 246-250 Romford Road, Forest Gate from 10am to 4pm until December 1.

The NHS Newham Health bus will be close to 16 Freemasons Road, Custom House today, from 10am to 5pm.

It will also be at St John’s church, the Broadway, Stratford, tomorrow, from 10am to 5pm.

It will be at the Greenway Centre - Newham University Hospital Trust in Glen Road, Plaistow tomorrow from 9am to 12noon.

An African Women’s support group is being held by Positive East to support people with HIV/AIDS on 30 November at St John’s Church, Stratford 5.30pm – 8.30pm.

In Newham the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is 8.2 per 1000 population aged 15-59 compared to 5.2 per 1000 in London.

Figures from the PCT show 1359 Newham residents accessed HIV related care and therefore known to be HIV positive and that

72 per cent of HIV cases in the borough were caused by infection through sex between men and women.

*There will be a film screening with Academy Award Winning director Danny Boyle’s unique World AIDS day film ‘Millions’ at Stratford Picture House December 4 at 4.00pm. Tickets are from £35 and are available at http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/positiveeast. Proceeds go to the charity Positive East.


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