World AIDS Day

Published on: Monday, 01-December-2014

Monday, 1 December marks World AIDS Day. This international event is a chance to raise awareness and funds for this disease.

Knowsley Council’s Public Health Team has responded to issues raised from residents regarding awareness and training in the borough.  As a result, the council has commissioned Sahir House, Merseyside’s HIV charity, to deliver training to frontline staff in the public, private and voluntary sector, aiming to raise awareness of HIV, breaking down the barriers associated with HIV and the need to encourage residents to get tested at an early stage.  The training will be delivered in December to 60 frontline staff.

Nationally, 42% of newly diagnosed HIV adults were diagnosed late.  Early diagnosis is the best chance for those living with HIV, but taking that first step can be difficult.  The sooner HIV is diagnosed, the sooner appropriate care can begin and with the appropriate medication, the life expectancy of someone living with HIV has increased significantly.

Paul, a HIV positive man from Knowsley, said “More HIV training is needed to raise awareness with public health providers.  It is pleasing to see that there are plans for this to be delivered in Knowsley.”

Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health in Knowsley, said “This annual campaign is crucial to helping to stop the spread of HIV and addressing stigmas or prejudice. Whilst there is a low prevalence of confirmed HIV cases in Knowsley, unless you are tested, you may not know that you are HIV positive.  My message is simple – early testing saves lives.  Contact your GP or local sexual health clinic to get tested.  The sooner the diagnosis, the sooner you can start treatment.”

World AIDS Day culminates with an event at St George’s Hall on 1 December, 7pm – 8.30pm.  This free event includes talks from people living with HIV, a performance from the Up for Arts Community Choir and reading of the remembrance list by candle light.

To find out more about World AIDS Day or for advice and support about HIV, contact Sahir House on 0151 237 3989, email info@sahir.uk.com or visit www.sahir.uk.com