Oneoff café clinics offer fast and friendly HIV testing in Wolverhampton
HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust will be hosting a new ‘café clinic’ at its centre on Bond Street, Wolverhampton, on 26th February. The one-off session will offer rapid HIV testing in a friendly and supportive café-style environment. The charity hopes that the initiative will encourage more local people to come forward for a test.
The café clinic will be a chance for people to visit Terrence Higgins Trust’s Wolverhampton centre for tea, cake, coffee and a chat, with trained staff available throughout the session to offer rapid finger-prick HIV tests to those who attend. Anyone who takes a test will get their results within 20 minutes and a team of staff will provide support before and after the test, as well as free condoms, and information and advice on safer sex. Although anyone is welcome to attend, the charity is particularly urging gay and bisexual men to take advantage of the new service.
Figures released by the Health Protection agency last year revealed that there were 6,390 people living with HIV in the West Midlands in 2011. A quarter of these people were undiagnosed and therefore at risk of serious health problems. Undiagnosed HIV is a major driving factor in the onward spread of the virus, as people who don’t know they have the condition are more likely to pass it on unwittingly.
Jackie Redding, Terrence Higgins Trust’s Service Director for the Midlands, said: “With advances in HIV treatment, there are now far more reasons to know your HIV status than there are not to. But going for an HIV test can be a daunting experience. We understand that and we hope that our café clinics will give people a chance to take an HIV test in alternative environment where you can have a cup of tea and a slice of cake and our staff can answer your questions and support you through the process if you wish."
“If you haven’t had a test in a while, or you’re worried you may have put yourself at risk, please come along and take advantage of our fast and friendly service.”
Terrence Higgins Trust’s café clinic will take place on Tuesday 26th February from 5pm to 8pm at the charity’s centre at 242-244 Bond Street, Wolverhampton, WV2 4AS. For more information about the clinic or Terrence Higgins Trust’s sexual health services in Wolverhampton, please call (01902) 711818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.