Tag Archives: National HIV Testing Week

Lots of Coverage for National HIV Testing Week

We were very pleased to be invited to talk on two radio programmes last week.

Firstly we got to talk to the lovely Danny Smith at Radio Verulam on his show West Herts Drivetime about HIV and Stigma in light of the recent coverage about Charlie Sheen revealing his HIV Status.

You can listen again to the show here, from 38 minutes and 22 seconds;


Then on Sunday we were talking on BBC 3 Counties radio on the programme “ShrinkWrapped”with our member Blessing talking again about Late Diagnosis, Stigma, Testing, living with HIV and Charlie Sheen.

You can listen again to the show here, from 30 minutes and 22seconds


More on our Busking Day Fundraiser on 05 December and our mini exhibition of the “Stand Tall Get Snapped Project” for World Aids Day coming up…

Thanks as ever for your support, without your kindness and generosity we couldn’t do what we do!

The Crescent Team

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Fantastic reviews for our Stand Tall Exhibition at St Albans Cathedral

Hi All

We have had some great reviews for the exhibition of the Stand Tall Get Snapped Exhibition at St Albans Cathedral which has been running throughout National HIV Testing week and World Aids Day week, closing today at 15.45hrs.

We will share some of the visitors comments with you shortly as they are recorded in a visitors book, the Cathedral have commented that it is the best exhibition that they have seen in many years! It has been so thrilling to be able to exhibit the project in such an atmospheric place , and under the rose window unveiled by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1989, another great champion of people living with HIV

A link to the Herts Advertiser article is below http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/living_with_hiv_a_photographer_s_view_on_display_at_st_albans_cathedral_1_3864608

Huge thanks to all at St Albans Cathedral especially Richard Watson, to Edo Zollo the talented photographer, to all who participated in the project especially the Crescent members Chris and Rachel.

More news follows shortly, we finish our World Aids Day events with a busking day tomorrow at the Clock Tower in St Albans along with a stall in the main street market and collections throughout the city.

We hope you will come along to join us, as well as great music there is also a raffle for a huge range of prizes including a 40″ Toshiba LED TV…

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent Team

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Link to our BBC TV Appearance today on BBC Look East/West

Hi all,

Here is a link to the BBC East/West TV news appearance by our member Blessing talking about HIV and Testing


We are on from 3mins 59 seconds

Listen out for us on BBC3 Counties this Sunday (30th) on the “Shrink Wrapped” programme from 1pm too

Thanks again for your ongoing support

The Crescent Team

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Free HIV Home Sampling HIV Testing By Post

Latest news  !! You can now get a free home sampling HIV test kit from the Crescent by post ! Visit the website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or email testing@thecrescent.org.uk for more information!

With this kit you can take the test at your convenience, post the sample to the laboratory, the Crescent will deliver your results to you between 24 – 48 hours (from receipt of your sample at the lab). If the result indicates that you may have HIV a confirmatory test is necessary at the Watford Sexual Health Centre (or another if you prefer). We will support you throughout the process of course.

If you would like to take the test at our centre in St Albans this can be arranged with appropriate support throughout the process as you require.

This is a free service and completely confidential. If you would like to know more about the service please do feel free to email or call us. You can also pick up a kit from our centre in Russell Avenue St Albans if you wish.

Now there really is an easy way to check your HIV status !

The Crescent Team

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Chloe James Fashion Show Article

Hi all,

Link to the latest article about the Chloe James Fashion show. Amazing night put together by lovely people ! Starring our outgoing Mayor Councillor Annie Brewster who added an amazing £1000 to the total raised on the night too.


Now looking forward to the exhibition and busking day coming up this month and next, more details follow…


Thanks as ever for your support,

The Crescent Team

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Listen again to our interview on Radio Verulam yesterday

Hi all,

To listen again to our interview on Radio Verulam yesterday afternoon please follow this link;http://listenagain.radioverulam.com/taxonomy/term/218 we are interviewed from 42 mins and 43 secs onwards.

Hear us talking about Dragon’s Apprentice, Busking Day and our World Aids Day / National HIV Testing Week exhibition at the wonderful Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban later this month.

Thanks as ever for your continued support

The Crescent Team

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Stand Tall Get Snapped Project Exhibition at St Albans Cathedral

Dear all,

We are pleased to announce that we are bringing the Stand Tall Get Snapped Project exhibition, featuring members of the Crescent, for two weeks in November and December to commemorate World Aids Day this year.

This will be held at St Albans Cathedral from 24th November to 05 December to mark the beginning of national HIV testing week (22 to 29 November) and World Aids Day 2014 (01 December).

More info on the event can be found here https://www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson/exhibitions/stand-tall-exhibition

and more on the Stand Tall get Snapped Project here http://www.edlondonphotography.co.uk/stand-tall-get-snapped-trailer

We also have another busking day coming up on 06 December to also commemorate the event and on the 1st of December a cabin in the Christmas Market, more on this follows shortly…

Thanks as ever for your support

The Crescent Team

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National HIV testing Week – are some missing the point altogether?

Firstly may we say that we fully support every effort to get more people tested for HIV and welcome new approaches despite no longer having any funding to do so ourselves after 25 years.

However today we listened in absolute horror to the following local radio broadcast, featuring Hertfordshire County Council’s authorised HIV service, Herts Aid, this week as they conducted an HIV test on air. It contained a number of statements and information, which could, at best, be considered questionable.


For example partway through the test the Herts Aid rep, Tony Skeate, MSM Communities worker, is heard to say that HIV is no longer a problem “just take your tablets and get on with life”… not exactly a sentiment held by Tom Hayes (AKA UKPositiveLad) in this interview with the Guardian where he talks about the difficulties HIV presents following his diagnosis, and not just for him of course.


Other issues include identifying transgender as a third sex, as in the opening sequence are you male, female or transgender? Surely it is more appropriate to ask how the person defines their gender identity?

Then asking someone who has previously just identified as a woman if they are a man who has sex with men?

At various points information is confusing and misleading it seems, phrases like sperm washing are used, and in Vitro, with no explanation as to why, or what these are? Also says that having children is no problem, and even talks about a Swiss study using phraseology that would not necessarily be understood by the person in the street so to speak.

Living with HIV and having children is of course very possible, however anyone who has undergone any kind of fertility treatment would not be likely to say it is easy by any stretch, let alone whilst living with HIV as well.

Also suggests that families are always supportive when diagnosed, that the test requires a thimbleful of blood… not true, just a drop is all that is needed. It also appears that Herts Aid seek to promote a particular life insurance company as a “good place to go” and “they are efficient”

Alarming comments about it “not being like the 80’s when people just “topple over and die” after a diagnosis and that HIV is now “not really a problem”

Also referring to “if we can find all the people with HIV”, seems to some who have complained to us, like a witch hunt is in progress.

At the end of the test although had explained the window period appeared to discourage a second test with a comment “if you feel you need a second test” and also encouraged the participant to take a photo of the test result.

Lastly from a clinical point of view the Herts Aid staff member then appeared to clean the finger of the person to be tested with a sterilised swab, and then proceeded to blow on it to dry it afterwards, completely negating the point of using the swab in the first place.

Overall the opinion of those who have heard this broadcast is that they would not consider using the service for a test, and were more confused about what HIV was, and what it meant to be positive, than before.

All round this means that the it’s ok to get tested message is lost, in our opinion, and has seemingly missed the point of the exercise. This agency has half a million pounds of funding. Is this really the best we can expect from Hertfordshire County Council and their HIV support service?

So many agencies around the country are working hard to ensure the word gets out, that stigma is reduced and that people come forward to be tested. This agency seem to be doing their best to do the reverse.

Appalling !

We hope you will agree…

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