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Test Before Lockdown Ends

What is the Breaking the Chain: Time to test campaign?

Covid-19 presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity in the fight against HIV and syphilis. Since the introduction of social distancing measures in March, most people have not been having sex outside their household, which means much fewer people have been exposed to HIV and syphilis.

The Break the Chain: Time to test campaign, founded by 56 Dean Street (Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), seeks to maximise the current social distancing situation to identify everyone who has undiagnosed HIV so that they can start treatment early, improve their health, and prevent them from passing on HIV to anyone else.

Now is the time: we have an unprecedented opportunity to stop HIV transmissions

When someone first catches HIV, they are highly infectious and more likely to pass on HIV than normal. However, HIV infections take between 4-8 weeks before they can be identified through testing. With lockdown having started in March, there are many fewer people in this ‘blindspot’ who would otherwise be missed, and testing now could identify almost everyone who has the virus.

If those who test positive start effective treatment straight away, the virus will become undetectable and they can’t pass it on to anyone else. Public Health England will also provide the option for people to test for syphilis.

Get tested by going to the link freetesting.hiv

For full screening or another service complete an online booking form or ring 0300 124510