Online Pharmacy give away 1,000s of condoms in the run up to World AIDS Day
Shocking figures released ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December reveal that roughly a fifth of those who have HIV in the UK, are unaware they are even carrying the virus. Public Health England accumulated data from 2012 that shows 21,900 people out of 98,400 with HIV in the UK do not know they have it, with new cases reported in gay mean spiralling to an all-time record of 3,250 during last year. Gay men account for the majority of people who have HIV, followed by black African men and women. Heterosexuals accounted for approximately 45% of new HIV cases in 2012; 2,880 in total. Although it appears overall figures have decreased since 2011, the charity Terrence Higgins Trust have called for more action to be done to prevent the virus spreading, beginning with National HIV Testing Week, which runs from 22-29 November leading up to World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and has been supported numerous times by Medical Specialists Pharmacy - this year is no different! This year Medical Specialists are giving away literally thousands of Skins condoms to all patients who obtain any sexual health products between 22 November and 2 December. Whether this be a clamelle chlamydia test kit, the antibiotic azithromycin for chlamydia and gonorrhoea treatment, or viagra, you will receive plenty of condoms…for free! “Reducing undiagnosed HIV is now the single most important step we can take to halt the spread of infection in this country,” said the Terrence Higgins Trust’s acting chief executive, Paul Ward. Mr Ward added: “Some communities are already making headway in this. Among gay men, testing rates are up, diagnoses are up, and as a result undiagnosed infection is coming down. Because of community-wide initiatives like National HIV Testing Week, hundreds more people with HIV now know their status, helping them access life-saving treatments and drastically reducing the chance of them passing the virus on. We’ve come so far, but we have to keep going. We know testing works and treatment works; all we need is the individual commitment and public funding to make it happen. If we can get this, we can turn the tide of the epidemic.” Many people see ‘HIV’ as an abbreviated disease that they hope they never contract, whilst not actually understanding a lot about what it is, who is at risk, or the dangers of letting the virus go untreated. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) attacks the immune system; our body’s natural defence mechanism against infections and disease. Health Protection Agency statistics from 2010 showed 95% of UK diagnoses stemmed from sexual contact, typically not wearing a condom during sexual activity is the cause. Sharing infected needles, syringes or other drug paraphernalia are also risk factors for HIV. After infection, symptoms usually take between two to six weeks to arise and they include the common flu symptoms such as fever, sore throat, tiredness, muscular pain and also you could develop a body rash. If you believe you might be at risk then you should go for a test immediately and do not delay. Delaying vital critical treatment can be fatal and somebody diagnosed at a late stage is actually nine times more likely to die within twelve months of receiving their diagnosis compared to somebody who gets tested and diagnosed at an early stage. If HIV is left untreated or insufficiently managed, HIV then develops into AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). At this stage the body is no longer able to fight off life-threatening infections due to the severe damage inflicted to the immune system. National HIV testing week is a hugely important week and Medical Specialists hope that people shed the stigmas attached to HIV and AIDS, and to get tested immediately if they think they might be at risk. There is never any shame in seeking help for anything, especially when it comes to your health, and it could just save your life.