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56 Dean Street’s HIV testing event breaks world record

03 December 2012

Staff from 56 Dean Street, Chelsea and Westminster’s popular HIV and sexual health centre in Soho, broke their own HIV testing world record to mark World AIDS Day on Saturday (1 December).

Staff from 56 Dean Street, Chelsea and Westminster’s popular HIV and sexual health centre in Soho, broke their own HIV testing world record to mark World AIDS Day on Saturday (1 December).

They tested 745 people in just eight hours at the G-A-Y Bar on Old Compton Street to smash their own record of 467 tests on World AIDS Day last year.

A total of 6 people tested positive for HIV. They were taken to 56 Dean Street for tests to confirm the diagnosis and to provide them with medical and emotional support.

56 Dean Street’s world record attempt was supported by Prime Minister David Cameron who said last week: “That is what World AIDS Day is about: taking practical action. Let us use World AIDS Day to spread the message about education, testing and early diagnosis. People need to know it has never been quicker or simpler to get tested.”

Dr Alan McOwan, Lead Clinician at 56 Dean Street, said: “We are thrilled that so many people chose to come and get tested on World AIDS Day to support our efforts to promote HIV awareness, reduce stigma and make history.

“This was a really positive day because we need to take action to reach the 1 in 4 people with HIV in the UK who remain undiagnosed. Reducing undiagnosed HIV is really important because 80% of HIV is caught from someone who is unaware they are infected themselves. Testing early adds, on average, 16 years to someone’s life.

“I would also like say a special thank you to Jeremy Joseph, owner of the G-A-Y Bar, for hosting the event and generously donating £10 for every test to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. We couldn’t have done it without his support.”

The HIV testing was provided by the friendly, expert team from 56 Dean Street using the world’s fastest antibody test which provides a result in just 60 seconds.