Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is raising awareness of practicing good sexual health whilst asking residents in Lancashire to re think outdated stereotypes, dismiss the myths and be aware of the facts when it comes to HIV and Aids.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is an infection which attacks the body"s immune system and is passed on through bodily fluids. The Contraception and Sexual Health (CASH) Team at the Trust provide education, help and advice on all aspects of sexual health, contraception and relationships. There are currently over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK and over 90% of those who have contracted the disease have done so through sexual contact.
Sue Capstick, Service Line Manager for Sexual Health at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
"Part of our role is to educate the people in Lancashire about STIs and unfortunately HIV still has the highest level of stigma attached to it. We need to work together to stop the misconceptions and teach people about how it"s contracted. We see people who are worried or concerned and encourage people to discuss and share HIV facts. Only 2 percent of people living with HIV contract the virus through dirty needles and we have come a long way in managing HIV since it was first diagnosed. It"s important to keep up to date with the facts about HIV so we don"t spread ignorance."
- Kissing doesn"t spread HIV
- People living with HIV who are on effective treatment have a normal life expectancy
- Only 0.5% of HIV positive mothers pass on HIV to their children
- If HIV develops into AIDS, this can be treated and reversed back to HIV
- Effective HIV treatment means someone living with the virus is virtually non-infectious
Public Health England has also launched a free home HIV sampling kit, so that people can take a simple finger-prick test in the privacy of their own home. This will be available until January. Visit www.freetesting.hiv
The team can be contacted on 01772 401140 for help and advice or check the website www.cashlancashirecare.nhs.uk.