‘Every week, around 7000 young women aged 15-24 years become infected with HIV’.
When we read this, we were genuinely surprised and realised we knew quite little about HIV, the testing or the treatment. In honour of World AIDS day on the 1st of December and National HIV Testing Week Superdrug hosted a #KnowYourStatus panel event at the Hospital Club, where we learned all about what it means to have HIV in 2018.
Thanks to modern medicine it’s now possible for people living with HIV to lead totally normal lives (and sex lives) if taking the antiretroviral medication which can lower their virus count to 0. This means that when medicated there is little to no chance of infecting a sexual partner, or passing it onto a baby if pregnant or breastfeeding.
When diagnosed within the early years those affected are actually predicted to live longer than the average person due to being more aware and taking better care of their health. Gone are the days where HIV was instantly associated with terminal, and a fantastic quote from Emma France from mothers2mothers is ‘HIV is three letters, not a sentence’.
Know you’re armed with the facts, it’s time to get testing! BioSURE has developed a really simple, at home HIV Self-Test kit that gives you an answer within fifteen minutes. No more awkward conversations at doctors’ offices or waiting around STI clinics, you can even order it online and get it slotted through your letterbox.
We ourselves are both 23 and 24, and most of our friends and readers are aged around 20-30. That’s why we feel strongly about helping spread awareness about getting tested for HIV because like us, you probably don’t know a whole lot about where it sits in the modern day.
While HIV is a totally manageable disease in 2018, it’s not possible to treat someone if they don’t know they’re affected. In honour of National HIV Testing Week make sure you #KnowYourStatus and help decrease the global threat of HIV by 2030!