Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home > About us > News > News archive > 2015 > Chelsea and Westminster launch new blood borne virus testing programme

Chelsea and Westminster launch new blood borne virus testing programme

18 November 2015

Coinciding with the European HIV/Hepatitis Testing Week, all five sexual health clinics along with the Emergency Department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital are coming together this month to provide a range of opportunities for people across north west London to receive blood borne virus (BBV) testing.

Coinciding with the European HIV/Hepatitis Testing Week, all five sexual health clinics along with the Emergency Department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital are coming together this month to provide a range of opportunities for people across north west London to receive blood borne virus (BBV) testing.

For the first time, the team will be expanding the successful, long standing opt out HIV testing programme in the Emergency Department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to include testing for hepatitis B and C. This will supplement the enhanced BBV screening to include hepatitis B and C testing for all attendees, which will be offered across GUM clinics for the duration of the week.

A range of events are being held throughout the week to support this important initiative, including rapid HIV testing at the Houses of Parliament, testing at various community sites using the Chelsea and Westminster Health bus and the annual G-A-Y testing event in order to diagnose as many people as early as possible.

Consultant Gary Whitlock, who is working with clinical colleagues and volunteers from St Stephen’s AIDS Trust  in planning this year’s HIV testing timetable, said: “I’m delighted by the efforts our fantastic sexual health teams are making to go into the community and test as many people as possible so that, should someone receive a positive diagnosis, they know that it’s a condition that has very effective treatment, allowing them lead positive, healthy lives. Not only does early diagnosis allow us to manage a person’s condition more effectively, it is also more cost effective for the NHS.”

Consultant Ann Sullivan, who is leading the testing programme within the Emergency Department, said: "We know there is a high level of undiagnosed hepatitis infection, putting people at risk of chronic liver disease and cancer. By providing a testing service in our Emergency Department we can diagnose these individuals and give them access to treatment and care. Our opt out service for HIV testing in the Emergency Department has been running for a number of years with great success - having carried out over 25,000 tests in the past five years. Blood borne viruses testing in the Emergency Department will continue beyond testing week, translating to a sustainable programme benefitting patients with undiagnosed infection over the longer term." 

Testing timetable

DateTimesLocation
Wed 25 Nov 11:30am–2:30pm Hammersmith Broadway, Hammersmith Underground Station, W6 7AE
1–5pm Halve-it, House of Parliament, SW1A 0AA
Tuesday 1 December (World AIDS Day) 9am–5pm Chelsea and Westminster Hospital forecourt, SW10 9NH
12–9pm G-A-Y Bar, 30 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UR