26 November 2021

It’s World AIDS Day on 1 December when, people around the world unite to show their support for people living with HIV, raise awareness of how to get tested and commemorate those who have sadly lost their lives to AIDS.

The theme this year is “End inequalities. End AIDS” which highlights the urgent need to eliminate discrimination and make sure everyone has access to essential HIV services and treatment. 

When World AIDS Day began in 1988, the world was in a very different place. Now, we have testing, treatment, a range of prevention options, including pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, and services that can reach vulnerable communities., Even today, over 105,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and each year over 4,139 people are newly diagnosed.

To help bring attention to this important issue and mark World AIDS Day, CNWL’s Sexual Health Services in London and Surrey will be raising much needed awareness of the need to check your status by getting tested regularly. You can order tests on our Sexual Health website or visit Sexual health London to order a kit.

Early diagnosis and treatment means very few people with HIV will ever develop AIDS. HIV is now generally considered a long term manageable condition. This means you are unlikely to become ill or experience a lifetime of ill health. But getting tested to know your HIV status is essential.

The Surrey Sexual Health Team have a dedicated page to order home testing kits and they will be promoting PrEP and HIV testing at Surrey Winter Pride, which will take place mainly in January this year. Many will be confirmed soon including a candlelit vigil in Woking and Winter pride in Guildford on 29 January. Visit the Pride in Surrey website for more details.

Where to get tested next week

CLASH, our sexual health promotion team will be providing HIV testing, red ribbons, red ribbon condoms and wearing ‘I’m testing’ t-shirts throughout the week at outreach sessions (some will be open to everyone, but also specifically for small community groups) and information will be displayed locally in these venues.

  • 29 November and 3 December: Raising awareness at CNWL’s dedicated clinics for people (based in Camden and Islington) working in the sex industry at Mortimer Market Centre 9am to 1pm
  • 29 November: The outreach team will be raising awareness in local places of faith, barbers’ and gyms in Camden and Islington  -  offering support to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community
  • 30 November: Raising awareness by going to flats and premises used by sex workers
  • 1 December: 
    • Teaming up with Forum+ (who promote equality for LGBTQ+ people living in Camden and Islington) for health promotion and Testing at Central Station Pub at ‘Sweet Wednesday’ for Trans People and their partners
    • Outreach team raising awareness at the Migrant Centre between 11am and 1pm
  • 2 December: Raising awareness at CNWL’s dedicated clinics for people in the sex industry (based in Camden and Islington) at Archway Clinic between 12pm and 4pm

Ongoing dates: If you can’t make an outreach session you can book an appointment at one of our clinics in London and Surrey at any time.

The outreach team will also be spreading awareness of PrEP –. a medicine people at risk of HIV can take to prevent them from getting HIV. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective. It can help you stay in control of your sex life and keep healthy. If you’re concerned about your HIV risk, you can book an appointment to discuss PrEP at one of CNWL’s London or Surrey clinics.

To coincide with World AIDS Day, an inaugural ‘PrEP Awareness Week’ will be running from 29 November to 5 December. The initiative is funded by Gilead and led by Dean Street. Find out more information about PrEP and the week in this news article.