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HIV tests go on sale regionally

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By Amanda Kennedy
Annan and Eskdale
HIV tests go on sale regionally

HOME testing kits for HIV are now legally on sale in the region for the first time ever.

The BioSure HIV Self-test packs give an instant result, without people having to consult a health worker or send samples to a lab.
And they have been welcomed by NHS Dumfries and Galloway, who have also set out some key information for the public to be aware of.
Public health medicine consultant Dr Nigel Calvert said: “If used properly they can be reliable but I would encourage people to look at the information we have made available on the health protection website at www.dghps.org/hiv-self-testing/ before buying one of the kits.
“Also, it would be a good idea for people to think about where they would get local support if the DIY test gave a positive result. The information we have put online will point people in the right direction.”
In Dumfries and Galloway free HIV tests are available via GPs and sexual health clinics.
George Valiotis, CEO of HIV Scotland, said: “Self-test kits aren’t a replacement for free NHS services, but they could help more people get tested for HIV – especially those in rural areas or those who would prefer not to go to their GP or local clinic.
“Estimates suggest that as many as 25 per cent of people living with HIV in Scotland don’t know they have the virus, so increasing testing is critical. Especially given that if people with HIV are diagnosed and get on treatment quickly, they can become un-infectious and live long, active lives.”

NHS Dumfries and Galloway Sexual Health helpline – 07736 955 219 (Mon to Fri, 1-2pm)

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