Tag Archives: The Crescent

Herts Advertiser Article on HIV

We spoke to the Herts Advertiser last week about the unfolding Hollywood HIV story.

We feel it immensely unfair that Mr Sheen has been forced to disclose his status, no-one should have to do this, and certainly not in such a public way.

The hysteria and hype leading up to this event has, we feel, set back the fight against HIV Stigma considerably. Echoing days of the 1980’s with sensational headlines and alarmist commentary does nothing to help, and forcing people to publicly disclose their status creates fear and misunderstanding.

This is immensely frustrating and damaging we feel, we spend so much time trying to undo this sort of misinformation and hysteria about HIV.We are very grateful for the chance to air our views, we wish Mr Sheen the very best and hope that this furore fades soon.

Our fear is that more sensational headlines will appear, prompting more misunderstanding, such as those in the last few days where a co-star feels they have been at risk from kissing Mr Sheen, which is ridiculous in itself.

Handled correctly this could have been a very good way to illustrate that HIV can and does affect anyone. However the way it has been handled makes it look like it only happens to those who are irresponsible and careless. This couldn’t be further from the truth, most of those affected by HIV acquired the virus from someone who didn’t know they had it, it only takes one mistake, one misjudged moment. Who amongst us can say we have never made a mistake?

Here is a link to the article:


Anyone worried about HIV can get a free HIV testing kit from us by post or in person, contact testing@thecrescent.org.uk, call 01727 842532 or call in during opening hours.

Support is available throughout, it is a completely confidential and free of charge, a simple test with no big needles you can do yourself, or onsite at the Crescent.

Free condoms are available from the Crescent either in person or by post, we wont ask any questions, you can just collect these from our site in Russell Avenue during opening hours (they are on a shelf in the entrance hallway) or we can post them to you, free of charge. Email info @thecrescent.org.uk or call 01727 842532 for postal services.

Condoms will protect you from a whole range of STI infections, not just HIV, and of course help prevent unplanned or unwanted pregnancies too. Protect you and those you love, use a condom always until you are sure of each other’s sexual health.

The Crescent Team



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Write It Out – Creative Writing Sessions at The Crescent

Hi all,

Next month sees the launch of our free creative writing sessions “Write It Out” from the 10th of November we, in conjunction with the St Albans Arts Team at St Albans City and District Council will be holding the sessions on alternate Tuesdays (after our regular Tuesday lunches) from 2pm to 4pm.

Come along, find ways to express yourself through fun with words, no special skills are needed just enthusiasm and a willingness to participate. Friends and family are also welcome so come along to find out more!

Dates and more details are here Write It Out The Crescent Invitation 2015

We look forward to seeing you on the first event on Tuesday 10th November, if you are coming for lunch first (from 12.30) please let us know so we can be sure to provide sufficient food!

The Crescent Team


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Huge thanks to Chloe James Lifestyle

We must thank Chloe James Lifestyle for a wonderful fashion show event last week. They raised over £1000 for us again, huge thanks to all that attended, modelled and / or bought a raffle ticket.

A special thank you to Donna and her team at Chloe James Lifestyle for their continued support and all the hard work that went into making last Wednesday a huge success.

If you haven’t yet visited their lovely wonky Tudor shop at 12 the High Street St Albans then you really are missing out. It is the perfect place to get that something special, and with Christmas coming up it is the ideal location to find that gift you have been searching for! Take a look at their website http://chloejameslifestyle.co.uk/ too, the shop is crammed to the rafters with lovely things!

Thanks again Chloe James and all those super St Albans people, from all of us here.

The Crescent Team

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The Crescent on BBC 3 Counties with Jim McManus DPH at Herts County Council

Dear all,

We were on BBC 3 counties Friday afternoon with the Director of Public Health at Herts County Council talking about HIV testing, why the County Council wont fund the Crescent and also why Herts Aid don’t provide the service either, despite a huge amount of funding.

You can listen again here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02x6f74 we are on from 2hrs 20 mins the Roberto Perone Show 31st July on BBC 3 Counties Radio.

As you will hear the Director of Public Health is very reluctant to commit to anything, wouldn’t answer the presenter’s questions about why Herts Aid don’t provide the service, nor why he wont fund us. He seemed more interested in suggesting the Crescent didn’t understand the issues…

We will leave you to decide why Herts County Council refuse to fund us despite Public Health England asking for more community based testing…

The Crescent Team

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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


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

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Free Postal HIV Testing Available From The Crescent For All

Dear all,

BBC and ITV news yesterday covered the launch of a pilot postal HIV testing service for residents in Birmingham in “At Risk” communities only.

The Crescent is very pleased to see that others are now providing this service and wish the team at HIVTestUK.com and Birmingham Heartlands HIV Service the very best in their endeavours to combat the late diagnosis issues in the Birmingham area. You can read more about the pilot here https://www.hivtestuk.com/hivtestuk-pilot-project-launches-in-birmingham/

We hope that Hertfordshire County Council takes note and implements quickly a similar programme to address the late diagnosis rates in Hertfordshire, particularly in West Herts, where rates are well above national average. Hertfordshire’s Director of Public Health Mr McManus, coincidentally was also a joint Director of Public Health in Birmingham, and so we hope he will follow the direction they have taken without further delay.

We have been raising this issue for some two years, appealing to Mr McManus and Teresa Heritage, Herts County Council Cabinet member for Localism and Health, for funding for our postal service, but without success. Perhaps now there will be a change of direction, we certainly hope so!

Our postal service is not restricted to at risk groups and is free for all residents of Hertfordshire and beyond. It is quick, totally confidential, and very easy to do, we will support you throughout the process too. If you don’t want to test by post we do of course offer onsite instant result HIV testing by appointment.

Contact us on Testing@thecrescent.org.uk, visit our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or call us on 01727 842532 to order a kit or find out more about the service.

The Crescent Team

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

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HYPE Young Persons Group Next Events 25th July and 22nd August 2.30 to 5.30

Hi all,

Next events for our young persons group, HYPE are on 25th July and 22nd August from 2.30 to 5.30. If you are 16- 25 and living with or affected by HIV come along, meet other people in your situation, get support, have fun and relax in a safe environment at the Crescent in St Albans.

Call or email us for more details on 01727 842532 / 848908 / Hype@thecrescent.org.uk

HYPE is a group run both by and for young people living with HIV, currently meeting once a month at the Crescent, 19 Russell Avenue St Albans AL3 5ES.

You will be able to suggest activities you would like to do, play games, watch TV, make friends, get advice, share ideas and hopefully have fun along the way. All free and completely confidential, we look forward to seeing you soon!

The HYPE Team

Hype Flyer

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