We are continuing our celebration of LGBT+ History Month across all our social media platforms. Just as being LGBT+ is only part of our identity, there are many different characteristics that make up the whole of who we are – something referred to as intersectionality. This week in particular sees several other observances taking place alongside LGBT+ History Month, and in our blog we’re going to look at how they intersect with the LGBT+ aspect of ourselves and our history.
7th-13th February 2022 is also HIV Testing Week
Not everyone who has HIV is LGBT+! In fact, Pink News reported earlier this week that “The number of straight people being diagnosed with HIV is higher than that of gay and bisexual men for the first time in a decade, new figures show.” We like to think we have come a long way from it being referred to as the “gay disease” but stigma and prejudice is still a big problem both in and outside the LGBT+ community. Many advances have been made in testing and preventing HIV, with medications like PrEP being available from NHS sexual health clinics, free of charge.
HIV Testing week is an annual event which seeks to promote regular testing among key populations. It aims to reduce the numbers of undiagnosed people and those diagnosed late, as well as raise awareness and increase knowledge of HIV testing in the communities most affected by HIV and the general population.
The HIV Commission hopes that England can be the first country to end new cases of HIV, with a goal set for achieving this by 2030. While new HIV diagnoses have continued to fall, the latest data shows that late HIV diagnoses continue to remain stubbornly high in England. Many put off testing because they are anxious about the result, but it’s always better to know. The sooner you find out your status and start treatment, the less likely you are to become seriously ill.