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
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
It’s been a while since we updated our blog, apologies to all those who have been missing our updates. Suffice to say lots going on as ever, have restarted our testing services with a postal self sampling HIV testing kit (currently the only service outside London to do so)
This enables the individual to take a very small sample of blood at home or on our premises (similar to a diabetic blood sugar test) post the sample to the lab who then relay the result to us to deliver to you by an appropriate method. Entirely free and convenient and the test is more accurate than the current Insti testing systems as the sample is tested in a laboratory. Also the window period is shorter at 28 days too. This means a shorter wait from possible exposure to being able to test.
More info on this can be found on our website on the testing page http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/testing/ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org where you can also request a kit to be sent to you. Alternatively just call in to the Crescent where you can pick up a test kit at any time we are open.
We will shortly also be restarting our instant result testing service too, keep watching this space !
In other news we had amazing feedback from our Stand Tall Get Snapped Exhibition at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban during the World Aids Day period in December 2014. So many people left messages of support and encouragement in the visitors book during the fortnight and the Cathedral observed that it was perhaps the best exhibition they had hosted in the ten years, high praise indeed !
A copy of our latest newsletter can be found on our website at http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/news/newsletters/ too
Loads more events coming up, including a concert, an open day, another busking event and more ! Keep watching this space… Sunday Lunches are the first Sunday of every month and our weekly Tuesday lunches continue as ever, more details on our website at http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/events/
Thanks again for all your support, once again we struggle for funds this year as ever but with your help we are sure we will still be here this time next year ! If you would like to make a donation at anytime please visit our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk/index.php/donate/ where you can find info on how to do so online, by text, post or whilst you shop too !
The Crescent Team