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Residents Urged to Take the Test

People in South Tyneside are being encouraged to get tested for HIV as part of this year's national campaign.

National HIV Testing Week runs from 18 - 24 November and with local, confidential services and free online testing available, it is easier than ever for people to have the test.

Anyone who is sexually active is advised to have the test to help reduce the number of people with undiagnosed HIV.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "Getting tested, and encouraging your friends to get tested, really helps save lives.

"Finding out early if you are HIV positive simply means you can receive the healthcare and support you need to live a healthy life."

People can take advantage of HIV testing, as well as a range of other free and confidential services, from sexual health clinics in South Tyneside.

Dr Medhat Basta, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV at South Tyneside Foundation Trust, added: "We need to normalise HIV testing so that isn't viewed any differently from any other blood test. HIV is now a chronic medical condition that is easily treated with antiretroviral treatment. This treatment allows patients living with HIV to have an almost normal life in terms of quality and longevity. HIV therefore should no longer be an untreated or a stigmatised condition.

"While rates of late diagnosis are falling, too many people - particularly heterosexual men and women, patients who are older or from certain parts of the world such as Black Africans - are still diagnosed late. Earlier diagnosis will ensure better outcomes to the patient and reduce the transmission of infection to uninfected partners so this week is the perfect time for people to take the test."

For a free, self-sampling HIV test kit, visit

To make an appointment for HIV testing at Stanhope Parade or palmers Hospital or for more information, visit


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