HIV testing across Five Towns

Dr Andrew Furber
Dr Andrew Furber

Health bosses are urging residents across the Five Towns to get tested for human immune deficiency virus (HIV).

Figures show about a quarter of people do not know they have the HIV – equating to around 75 people in the Wakefield district.

Those who are unaware they are carrying the infection may be inadvertently passing it on, but people can be tested at clinics across the Five Towns from today.

Pontefract Hospital Sexual Health Clinic on Friarwood Lane will be holding sessions by appointment today (Friday) until noon, November 25 between 1.30pm and 5pm, November 27 from 9.30am to 5pm and November 29 from 10am to noon. To book, call 01977 606462.

Drop in sessions are also available at the clinic without appointment on November 25 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm and November 27 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

Pontefract Health Centre on Trinity Street is offering sessions by appointment on November 27 from 6pm to 8pm. Call 01924 327586 to book.

Castleford Health Centre on Wellbeck Street is offering appointments on November 26 between 6pm and 8pm. Ring 01924 327586 to book.

The Contraception and Sexual Health Service is offering a drop-in session from a mobile unit at Xscape in Castleford on November 28, between 4pm to 10pm.

Ferrybridge Medical Centre is offering drop-in sessions on November 28 between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

The awareness drive is to promote National HIV Testing Week.

Dr Andrew Furber, director of public health, said: “National HIV Testing Week is all about raising the awareness of HIV. This ranges from informing the public about how HIV is transmitted to how they can prevent it being transmitted.

“I would encourage anyone that has any concerns about their sexual health to get themselves tested. Testing can be done at any of the sessions and the results will be made available within an hour.”

Approximately 30 people a year are diagnosed with HIV across the district.

Testing ensures that people can get treatment and prevent giving the infection to others. The sooner a test is done, the more effective treatments will be.

Anyone can be affected by HIV. Visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/STIs/Pages/HIV.aspx for further information on HIV, including information on which groups face a higher risk.