How is HIV TRANSMITTED?
HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person, which includes blood, semen and breast milk. HIV infection can be passed on:
- Through unprotected sex,
- Using/sharing a contaminated needle, syringe or other injecting equipment,
- Transmission from mother to baby (before or during birth, or by breastfeeding).
- Through blood or blood products.
Benefits of testing
- Although there is no cure for HIV, there are treatments to enable people with the infection to live a long and healthy life with normal life expectancy. This means a person diagnosed early with HIV and receiving antiretroviral treatment can expect to live as long as someone without the infection.
- Medication, known as antiretroviral treatment, works by slowing down the damage the virus does to the immune system and delaying/stopping the infection progressing into full blown AIDS.
- Medication has improved vastly and the latest medication involves taking just 1-2 tablets once a day.
The test is quick and free and will help you get access to essential treatment immediately. See below, for details of where you can get tested.
Up to 1/3rd of people that have an HIV infection do not know they are infected and are missing vital treatment to improve their health. Those who are diagnosed late are 8 – 10 times more likely to die within a year after late diagnosis, and the cost of medical treatment is almost double. Not only is late diagnosis more damaging for the infected individual but it also greatly increases the risk of unintentionally transmitting the infection to loved ones.
HIV in Barking and Dagenham
Barking and Dagenham is a high prevalence area. As of 2015, there were approximately 760 people living with HIV in Barking and Dagenham (a prevalence rate of 6/1000). This means that for every 1,000 people living in Barking and Dagenham, at least 6 will have HIV.
In B&D many of the people diagnosed with HIV are diagnosed late in their illness; we diagnose 5 out of every 10 cases late compared to 4 out of every 10 cases in London.
Where our residents can get tested:
Sexual Health Centre, Barking Community Hospital Outpatient East Upney Lane, Barking, IG11 9LX. Call 0208 924 6674 to find walk-in times and book an appointment.
Queen’s HospitalOutpatients Team 5, Rom Valley Way, Romford, RM7 0AG. Call 01708 503 838 to find walk-in times and book an appointment.
Loxford Polyclinic417 Ilford Lane IG1 2PF. Call 020 8822 3700 to find walk-in times and book an appointment.
Department of Sexual Health - Whipps Cross Hospital, Whipps Cross Road, Leytonstone, E11 1NR. Tel: 020 8535 6535.
Hainault Health Centre, Manford Way, Chigwell, IG7 4DF Telephone 020 8924 6170 to find walk-in times and book an appointment
Alternatively you can attend your GP surgery.