People across Wales are being encouraged to get tested for HIV after a survey revealed that nearly 80% of UK adults have never been checked for the disease.
The startling revelation came from a survey published by the Terence Higgins Trust as a way to encourage people to engage with National HIV Testing Week.
The number of people who tested positive for HIV in Wales hit its lowest annual figure on record in 2019. A total of 123 positive cases takes the overall number of people being treated for HIV in Wales to just under 2,400.
Karen Cameron from the Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru said that it is vital for people to be tested so that they can receive treatment.
“Living with HIV is not the death sentence that people remembered from the 80s. You can live a perfectly happy and healthy life with HIV as long as you are on the treatment.
“People should test just so they can protect themselves, protect their family, protect their loved ones and protect their potential partners. It’s all about knowing your status and knowing where you are with that.”
HIV has recently reappeared in the news as a result of Russell T Davies’ new drama It’s a Sin. The series has received critical acclaim for its portrayal of the AIDs crisis and it is hoped that its impact will lead more people to get tested for HIV.
One of those who decided to get tested this week is Marshall Tisdale. He says that he was inspired by It’s a Sin to take part in the campaign.
“After watching It’s a Sin, I decided that now is a good time to read more into HIV and see just how easy it is to get tested and how quickly you can get results back”.