Newham residents urged to have HIV test

Newham residents should visit a health centre to get tested for HIV (picture: Anthony Devlin/PA)

Newham residents should visit a health centre to get tested for HIV (picture: Anthony Devlin/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Every year, around 100 people in Newham are diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV.

Now, as part of National HIV Testing Week, which begins on Saturday, anyone who is at risk of contracting the virus is urged to make sure they get tested.

The virus attacks the body’s immune system but an early diagnosis can help those who have contracted it to manage it with medication.

There are more cases among the black African and gay communities but anyone who has had unprotected sex or used drugs could be at risk.

Tests involve a finger prick of blood and results are available within minutes.

Cllr Clive Furness said: “While the fear of HIV can be scary one simple test can alleviate people’s concerns and ensure they get the appropriate help and support they need.

“If caught early HIV can be managed allowing people to lead long and healthy lives.

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“This is why I would urge anyone in the groups most at risk of contracting HIV to take the test now. Don’t put it off.”

Positive East provides a walk-in testing service at the Vicarage Lane Centre, Stratford, between 4pm and 7pm on Mondays and Fridays.

The Greenway Centre at Newham University Hospital is also open on Mondays and Fridays and also offers testing and treatment for a range of sexually transmitted diseases.

The East London Foundation Trust provides sexual health services at six health centres across the borough – Shrewsbury Road in Forest Gate; West Ham Lane in Stratford; Lord Lister in Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate; West Beckton in Fulmer Road; Appleby Road in Canning Town and Vicarage Lane in Stratford.