They are being held to mark HIV Testing Week (22-29 November), in the run-up to World Aids Day on the 1st of December. HIV, (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that can be sexually transmitted and prevents the body’s immune system from working properly.
Deputy City Mayor Councillor Rory Palmer said: “Taking an HIV test is really important, especially if you belong to a high-risk group. We are pleased to be working with these specialist organisations to raise awareness of the sexual health services that we offer in the city.”
If diagnosed early, modern HIV treatment means people with the virus can live long, healthy lives. To mark HIV Testing Week, organisations across the city are offering rapid HIV testing. These are free, drop-in testing sessions, with the results available quickly, sometimes on the same day.
Leicestershire Aids Support Service (LASS) based at 53 Regent Road, will be holding testing sessions from 9am-4pm every weekday during the week. A LASS representative said: “This is one thing you can do, right now, to help halt the spread of HIV.”
On Tuesday (26), there will be a drop-in event from 11am-3pm at the University of Leicester Students Union, while on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (27-29) there will be sessions at Oxygen Club, Wharf Street, from 4-8pm.
A number of other events are taking place around the city to raise awareness of HIV and funds for related charities. These include an open mic night at the Orange Tree, High Street, on Thursday (28) and a craft fair at the Central Baptist Church, Charles Street, on Saturday (30) from 11am-3pm.
On Sunday (1st of December), Trade Sexual Health will hold their annual World Aids Day event from 3.30pm. LASS will hold a musical extravaganza from 4pm the same day at the Shed, Yeoman Street. And a series of fundraising events will take place at Sloanes bar, King Street.