As part of National HIV testing week, Manchester’s LGBT Foundation is running daily HIV testing clinics from 19-30 November.
By hosting the clinics, the Foundation is ensuring that Greater Manchester is getting fully involved in the campaign. The number of men being diagnosed with HIV is continually rising, making the tests all the more important.
Gay, bisexual, or men who sleep with men from the local community are encouraged to visit one of three sites. These sites are based at locations in Manchester city centre and Salford.
The clinics will not only test people, but also go on to support them following the result. They are also keen to promote alternative tests, all in an effort to increase people’s willingness to get tested.
Jawad Mahboob is the men’s sexual health co-ordinator at the LGBT Foundation. He has spoken of the importance of the clinics and how crucial it is for men to access them.
“As many as 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men are living with HIV in major cities such as Manchester”.
Many men are hesitant to go and get tested by their GP or at a local STI clinic. The LGBT Foundation is hoping that throughout this week, they can provide a more approachable setting.
“At our testing centres we offer a more comfortable environment where you can be tested”.
Manchester’s involvement in the campaign doesn’t stop there, the Foundation has other activities organised too. On the 27 November, the People’s History Museum is set to host a crafting workshop from 12-3pm. On 28 November there will be a screening of “How to Survive a Plague” at Number 70 from 6:30-9pm.
The Foundation is also be providing safer sex packs and ‘It Starts With Me’ resources across Greater Manchester.
Jawad wants people to understand that being tested “can save your life and the life of someone you love”.