HIV testing goes on the road to mark World AIDS Day
Staff from Chelsea and Westminster's three HIV and sexual health centres hit the road to coincide with World AIDS Day on Saturday 1 December.
They offered free, instant and confidential HIV tests—as well as tests for other common sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—to promote HIV awareness and reduce the stigma that still surrounds the condition.
Our staff took Chelsea and Westminster's community health bus to Notting Hill, Hammersmith and Soho to provide testing and raise awareness.
The team from the John Hunter Clinic, who are usually based in the St Stephen's Centre adjacent to Chelsea and Westminster, offered HIV tests on Thursday (29 November) at the junction of Portobello Road and Lonsdale Road in Notting Hill.
Lee Watson, John Hunter Clinic Manager, said: "We tested 45 people for STIs including HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. Our location was great and the event proved very popular."
Their counterparts from the West London Centre for Sexual Health at Charing Cross Hospital followed suit on Friday (30 November) with a testing event in Lyric Square, Hammersmith, supported by two local charities—Opportunity for All and Youth Projects International.
Stephanie McMillan, Nurse Practitioner for Young People & Outreach, said: "The clinic was very successful, we saw 33 patients and there was always a queue of people wanting to get tested."
And on World AIDS Day itself on Saturday 1 December, staff from 56 Dean Street, Chelsea and Westminster's HIV and sexual health centre in Soho, broke their own world record for the number of HIV tests given in a single day—745 people were tested in just eight hours at G-A-Y Bar on Old Compton Street.
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."
56 Dean Street
John Hunter Clinic
West London Centre for Sexual Health