Tag Archives: Community Based HIV Testing

The Crescent is NOT Happy With Herts County Council !

Dear all,

Our latest article in the Herts Advertiser about postal testing services, available elsewhere in the country and being trialled in Birmingham and Luton amongst just two places. We have been appealing to the County Council for two years or more to introduce this, and /or fund our testing services. As there was no sign of any action from the County Council we introduced this ourselves (without funding) a year ago. We could no longer stand by whilst the late diagnosis problem exists (and grows in Hertfordshire) and those responsible for addressing the issue continue to sit on their hands.

We fail to understand why the County’s preferred supplier of services, Herts Aid, (who have ten times our income by the way) have not also introduced this kind of postal service as an alternative method of testing.

Public Health England is asking local authorities to introduce as many different methods for testing as possible, with an emphasis on more local community based testing services and postal testing too.

Herts County Council have made a good deal of noise recently about their commitment to “HalveIT” the national campaign to reduce late diagnosis of HIV, (something they until recently denied was an issue in Herts). However they still fail to put anything in place, or fund services like ours that are well established in the community and are based in the areas most affected (St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Watford and Rickmansworth for example)

It seems to us to be yet another example of the County Council saying the right thing, but again dragging their heels, perhaps hoping the focus will move on whilst they deliberate and then plans will be quietly shelved.

We deserve better than this as a County, it is after all the “County of Opportunity” apparently. However if you want to test for HIV, protect your health, and that of others, your opportunities are somewhat limited.

Come on Herts County Council, put your money where your mouth is ! Hertfordshire residents deserve so much better, the tests cost very little and certainly not as much as was apparently provided to an agency to “improve their brand image ” recently, (with seemingly little result).

Time to divert some funds to resolve a real health issue instead !

Link to the Herts Advertiser article here

http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/st_albans_hiv_charity_offers_revolutionary_at_home_test_1_4175358

Please do feel free to contact your County Councillor, your MP, The Director of Public Health, Jim McManus, or the Cabinet member for Localism and Health, Teresa Heritage to insist on a fair deal for Hertfordshire residents!

The Crescent Team

CB1185-The-Crescent-Home-Testing-Poster-FOR-PRESS2-(low) (2)

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Testing Article in the Herts Advertiser

Dear all,

Another article in the Herts Advertiser about HIV testing and diagnosis rates, see here for more http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/st_albans_charity_urges_more_people_to_test_for_hiv_1_3988780

Also in the Watford Observer letters page last week talking about the chronic late diagnosis rates that affect west Herts…

Despite asking Herts County Council for funding for testing services for at least the last three years, they have refused to act… We introduced a postal testing service last year that the county council are still thinking about, and that the National Aids Trust recommend… Public Health Minister Jane Ellison announced that the Government is about to introduce a nationwide HIV home sampling service, just like the one we have in place already…

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said in a news article this week: “We have protected the entire £2.45 million national HIV prevention budget, and have announced the first national home sampling service which will triple the number of sampling kits available.

Article about HIV funding is here

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/03/13/hiv-charities-deeply-concerned-over-allocation-of-hiv-prevention-budget/

So it seems that although we may be a bit low on funds at times it hasn’t stopped us introducing such initiatives, imagine what we could achieve if our funding was reinstated….

Strangely, despite the prevalence rates in west Herts being the highest, and the late diagnosis rates also being the same, way above national average, the County Council’s preferred HIV testing service have introduced a 2 hour testing service on a Saturday.. on the opposite side of the County, in Ware, where both rates are much lower… Whilst we welcome any attempts to encourage people to test regularly for HIV surely this would be better held in high prevalence areas, where late diagnosis rates are some 25% above the national average? just a thought…

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent Team

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National Aids Trust Press Release on Late Diagnosis in Hertfordshire

Hi all,

Below is a press release from the National Aids Trust asking Hertfordshire County Council to tackle the chronically high levels of late diagnosis in the County. Some areas have rates of over 25% above the national average, with the majority of these being in the west of the County.

We feel this is proof that the current countywide service is concentrating far too much effort in the East and North and not enough in the West. Figures published by Public Health England show that late diagnosis rates in Three Rivers, 67% Watford 52% St Albans 53% Dacorum 60% whereas North Herts is just 35%…

We really feel it is time Herts County Council and the Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group reinstated funding for our testing service that they decommissioned 4 years ago. Please feel free to write/email/tweet your County Councillor and MP asking that this be made a priority!

See a copy of the press release below..

Click Here Hertfordshire – Late Diagnosis rates above national average

Don’t forget if you think you may have been exposed to HIV or haven’t ever tested then you can do so using one of our postal testing kits. The service is entirely free and confidential, you can test at home or at our premises, collect a kit from us or ask for one to be posted to you. the results will be delivered to us after you have posted your sample. Please see our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or email testing@thecrescent.org.uk for more details.

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent team

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Listen to our member Blessing talking on BBC 3 Counties about HIV and her story

Hi all,

We were very fortunate to be allowed to appear on the Nesta McGregor show last night on BBC 3 Counties radio with our member, Blessing.

Blessing was very brave talking about her story, how people reacted to her diagnosis, how she felt about her daughter being diagnosed at the same time, plus how the Crescent helped her and her family cope with this.

You can listen again here, we are on from 1hr44mins and 38secs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p022bvr5

Help us keep helping those like Blessing, come along to our next Quiz night fundraiser on 08 August or visit our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk to donate and see how you can help us further.

Thanks as ever for your support

The Crescent Team

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St Albans District News Attended Yesterday’s Sunday Lunch Talking To Members

Hi All,

St Albans District News reporter attended our Sunday Lunch yesterday talking to members about life with HIV and how the Crescent has helped them to deal with their diagnosis and other issues that impact on their life.

You can listen to the round the table discussion featuring some of the members who participated here;

http://stalbansdistrictblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/living-with-hiv-supporting-those-who-live-with-hiv-st-albans-hertfordshire/

We would like to thank St Albans District News for the opportunity and of course to those who took part in the discussion, a mixture of people living with and / or affected by HIV who attended our monthly support Sunday lunch event yesterday.

Thank you for your continued support

The Crescent Team

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Herts Pride 31st August 2013

Hi all,

Thanks to all those who called by our stall at the first Herts Pride last Saturday to find out more about us and HIV in general. We had a very good day and managed to distribute a considerable amount of information and free condoms to those attending.

Looking forward to next year now !

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent Team

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Fundraising Concert 22nd February in St Albans

Hi all,

A fundraising concert will be held in aid of the Crescent on the evening of 22nd February in St Albans. All proceeds to the Crescent as all those performing, the venue, and refreshments are all being donated to help us.

We are truly grateful for the generosity of those involved, more details will follow shortly, but please keep the evening free if you can.

More services at the Crescent are being restored shortly including Therapies and free Insti HIV testing.

Keep watching this space… we are working on so much more..

Thanks for your ongoing support too,

Best wishes

The Crescent Team

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