01 Dec 2021

Rock the ribbon on World Aids Day

Islanders are being encouraged to 'rock the ribbon' on World Aids Day (1 December) to show their support for people living with HIV.

The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness for this first ever global health day and is your opportunity to help counter the stigma that still affects people living with the condition.

Scientific advances mean that today people diagnosed with HIV can lead healthy, productive and full lives. However, testing and early diagnosis are the first steps to early treatment.

Delivered by Solent NHS Trust, a range of free and confidential sexual health services is available at St Mary's Hospital, Newport, including:

• appointments within two working days for those who are newly diagnosed with HIV. At this appointment blood tests will be performed and you will have an opportunity to discuss your diagnosis with a specialist nurse or a doctor;

• long term follow ups, treatment and management for those living with and/or affected by HIV;

• psychological support from health advisor, health promotion or adult mental health nurse;

• specialist dietician support;

• specialist pharmacist to support with medication;

• anonymous partner notification;

• sexual health care, STI testing, contraception and cervical screening;

• specialist care (shared with other hospital consultants where necessary) including preconception advice, care in pregnancy, hepatitis co-infection and TB treatment.

Anna Murray, sexual health promotion practitioner from Solent NHS Trust, will be attending a World Aids Day event at Quay Arts, Newport, from 12.30pm until 2.30pm. The venue was used for one of the UK's first AIDS awareness events in the late 1980s.

The event is an opportunity to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness and to support people living with HIV as highlighted in this year's Channel 4 hit series, It's A Sin, which referenced the Isle of Wight

You can meet representatives from organisations who support the Island's LGBTQ+ community including Isle of Wight Pride, BreakOut Youth and volunteers from Out On An Island. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for public health at the Isle of Wight Council, said: "I have seen the devastation which HIV causes to people's lives living both on and off our Island and I never want to see that again.

"If you're sexually active with different partners, having an annual sexual MOT check is a great way to take care of your health.

"Being able to accept who we are — communicating with one another sincerely and being able to seek support in all things, but especially in matters of love and passion — is a wise and positive thing.

"If you are at all worried about anything to do with your sexual health, why not talk to our excellent sexual health team, get things checked out and live a wonderful, healthy life."

Each year in the UK more than 4,139 people are diagnosed with HIV, so there is still work to be done to increase understanding of the facts regarding how to protect yourself and others from the condition.

If you are concerned about HIV testing and want to speak to someone confidentially you can speak to the Island's team by booking an appointment on 0300 300 2016.

Alternatively, if 18 or older, you can order an STI testing kit which includes an HIV test https://www.letstalkaboutit.nhs.uk/worried-about-stis/order-a-test-online/ results will be sent via text within seven working days of kit samples being returned.

For more information on how you can support World Aids Day, visit: https://www.worldaidsday.org/

 

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People are being encouraged to rock the ribbon on World Aids Day
People are being encouraged to rock the ribbon on World Aids Day
Factfile
  • The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness for this first ever global health day.
  • Scientific advances mean that today people diagnosed with HIV can lead healthy, productive and full lives. However, testing and early diagnosis are the first steps to early treatment.
 
Isle of Wight, UK