Greater choice for HIV testing: A look back on National HIV Testing Week in Greater Manchester
Posted on: 27 February 2023
The last few weeks saw the ramping up of HIV testing across communities within the region, as part of a co-ordinated approach by Greater Manchester partners for National HIV Testing Week.
Rapid HIV testing within community venues, forms part of an ongoing programme of interventions available locally to promote regular testing and reduce the numbers of people diagnosed late with HIV.
In Greater Manchester, more than 6,379 people are thought to be living with HIV, with an estimated 5% unaware of their status. Increased testing efforts across community centres and clinics, at home and by NHS Greater Manchester, within emergency departments in high-prevalence areas, are said to be key to reduce the numbers of undiagnosed people and meet the changing needs of people living with HIV by supporting people into effective treatment and tackling stigma.
The Passionate about Sexual Health (PaSH) Partnership was formed as a collaboration between BHA for Equality, George House Trust and LGBT Foundation, to deliver a comprehensive programme of interventions for people living with HIV and to prevent new cases of HIV.
Lauren Duffy, Head of Sexual Health at LGBT Foundation, said that having more choice for people to get tested could help Greater Manchester end all new cases of HIV by 2030, as part of the wider national ambition.
“It’s great to see more people open to testing and a greater choice of testing options available, whether this is online, through sexual health clinics, GPs, at home testing kits or in some emergency departments in Greater Manchester.
The work Greater Manchester partners do is not just important to end all new cases of HIV by 2030 but is also critical to engaging conversations about HIV, challenging misconceptions, and ending stigma.”
Elisabete Miranda, Programme lead for Manchester Sexual Health Team at BHA commented:
“HIV testing offers an opportunity to reduce the number of people undiagnosed as well as the number of people diagnosed late, allowing earlier access to HIV treatment.
“National HIV Testing Week in Greater Manchester, a Fast Track City, has been an important demonstration of how collectively we can break down inequalities to end new transmissions of HIV while tackling stigma and discrimination.”
Routine HIV testing within emergency departments continues in Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), Wythenshawe Hospital and North Manchester General Hospital for people aged 16 and over (who already require a blood test and do not choose to opt-out). Almost 64,000 tests have been taken to date with 31 new diagnoses of HIV confirmed. (December 2022).
HIV, when diagnosed early, is a manageable, long-term health condition. For more information visit: