From 16 November, our Rubin Clinic are celebrating the start of National HIV Testing Week as they raise awareness of the ‘Give HIV The Finger’ campaign and encourage everyone to take the finger prick test.

The week is co-ordinated by HIV Prevention England (HPE) with support and participation from organisations in the public, statutory and private sectors, and promotes the benefits of regular testing and treatment for both the individual and community.

It raises awareness of the importance of HIV testing, as well as increasing opportunities to test – be it in clinical settings, in primary care, through community-based rapid testing or via postal testing. The ultimate goal is to increase regular HIV testing in the most affected groups. Population groups with particularly high late diagnoses rates include:

  • Heterosexual men (60%)
  • Black African adults (52%)
  • Those aged 50 and older (59%)

This year at MTW we are raising awareness by providing extra testing opportunities in all of our clinics Monday- Friday during opening times. Call 01622 225713 or visit www.kent.gov.uk/sexualhealth for further details.

Come and meet some of the Rubin Clinic Team at the following times at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells sites:

Monday 18 November we will be outside Café @ Plus One on Level 1 of Maidstone Hospital between 12pm and 2pm and in the main reception area of Maidstone hospital on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 November between 9am and 12pm.

The team will also be at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in the main reception area on Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 November between 2pm and 5pm.

We will be raising awareness about HIV and also giving people an opportunity for people to ‘give HIV the finger’ by taking a finger prick HIV test.  We will be giving out free red ribbon condoms, red ribbons and keyrings. Information about clinic details and online testing service as well. Kent.gov website can be ordered via there. Kent as a high late diagnosis rate. That is the case nationally too. It’s not just guys and guys. 60 per cent of late diagnosis is straight men. If at MH take them to Rubin Clinic at TWH the outreach team will see them in a private room at the hospital. Testing week opening hours at MH are 8am to 7pm. TWH is just during clinic times 5pm to 7pm. Testing is available anytime during normal clinic opening times.

In Kent, HIV incidence is lower than the national average but we have a late diagnosis rate which could have a profound effect on a person’s health.  People normally get HIV from someone who doesn’t know they have it, so early diagnosis is key to stopping the spread of HIV.