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World AIDS Day Saturday 1 December—Get Tested, Make History

23 November 2012

Come along to G-A-Y Bar Old Compton Street to get a FREE Instant and confidential HIV Test and support our attempts to promote HIV awareness, reduce stigma and make history.

Photo: Dr Sean Perera performs one of the first HIV tests of the day on G-A-Y Bar owner Jeremy Joseph

Staff from 56 Dean Street, the Trust’s HIV and sexual health centre in Soho, were shortlisted in the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ category of the Public Relations Consultants (PRCA) Awards which were announced on Tuesday 13 November.

They were recognised for their hugely successful event on World AIDS Day 2011 to set a new Guinness World Record for the number of HIV tests given in a single day—467 people were tested in just eight hours at the G-A-Y Bar on Old Compton Street.

The 56 Dean Street team will be doing it all over again in an attempt to break their own world record at the G-A-Y Bar on World AIDS Day this year—the event will be held from 12 noon–8pm on Saturday 1 December. G-A-Y will be donating £10 for every test to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Jake Jenkins of 56 Dean Street said: “Come along to G-A-Y on World AIDS Day to get a free instant and confidential HIV test and support our attempts to promote HIV awareness, reduce stigma and make history.

The aim of the World Aids day event is to normalise HIV testing. One in four people with HIV are unaware that they are HIV positive, which is a risk to their health and the health of their partner. Early diagnosis saves lives and increases life expectancy; diagnosed HIV can be treated as a manageable chronic health condition.

The event will run in a way that ensures people are safe, well supported and able to make informed choices. Most people will attend the event during the walk-in HIV test clinic, but some people may prefer to choose to have their test in another location.

Jake continues: “The testing will be 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. Testing early can add, on average, 16 years to someone’s life.”

There will be an expert team on hand who will only test people who were able to consent, understand the implications of testing and are able to handle the result. The health bus (with private rooms) will be available for people who have questions or would like to have further discussion. No-one will be pressured into having a test.

People will receive support from the 56 Dean Street team, whatever their result. If they receive a negative result they will be given advice about other STIs and to how to stay negative in the future. If they receive a positive result they will be given support immediately (at the clinic on the day) and help them to access HIV care services.

You can find out more on 56 Dean Street’s Facebook page. The event will be run with partner company GMI.