Mayor of Hounslow Corinna Smart has urged people to visit their nearest sexual health clinics for a free finger prick test as part of National HIV Testing Week.
During her visit to Sexual Health Hounslow at West Middlesex Hospital yesterday (24), councillor Smart saw first-hand how easy the process is for people to get checked for the infection.
She was 'surprised' at how straight forward the test was with just a five minute wait for the results.
Ms Smart said: “Having watched an HIV finger prick test take place I am really surprised at how simple and straight forward it is.
"It is such an improvement and to get the results back within a couple of minutes means it is even easier for people to get tested.”
The campaign in the borough has a number of free walk-in HIV testing services open throughout the week, until Sunday (30), include the Heart of Hounslow practice on Bath Road and the Feltham Centre for Health on the third floor at The Centre on the High Street.
In Hounslow, there is a rate of 3.6 HIV diagnoses per 1,000 people aged between 15 and 59.
At risk groups include people who are gay or bisexual.
Richard West, operational lead for Sexual Health Hounslow said: “This year we’ve made our HIV testing campaign even bigger, working with the local authority to increase opportunities to test across the borough.
"Treatment, which is free via our service, can stop HIV making you seriously unwell and make the virus less infectious but some people still find testing difficult.
"We hope this campaign enables even more people to come forward for a test.”