HEALTH experts are encouraging Harrow residents to come forward for HIV testing as part of a new programme that gives results in 60 seconds.
NHS Harrow is launching free and confidential screening using state of the art technology, involving a small finger prick of blood.
Testing is available at the Alexandra Avenue Health & Social Care Centre, in Alexnadra Avenue South Harrow and the Caryl Thomas Clinic, Headstone Drive, Harrow.
Patients will not need a letter from their GPs and anyone can refer themselves for a test and the quick results are intended to take away the anxiety that is usually associated with HIV tests.
All patients will have a brief pre-test discussion with a trained healthcare professional and all positive results will be followed up by the community HIV nursing service or fast-tracked to the HIV clinic at Northwick Park for further assessment.
The tests are held in confidentiality and results will not be shared with GPs without a patient’s permission.Dr Mark Bonar, NHS Harrow’s GP sexual health lead, said: “The number of people living with HIV in the UK is rising, with an estimated 83,000 infected cases, of whom over a quarter were unaware of their diagnosis.
“HIV remains a serious but treatable illness and early diagnosis ensures a good quality of life for the vast majority of patients.”