Innovative way to test early for HIV has been put forward for award

A patient takes the Rapid HIV free test
A patient takes the Rapid HIV free test
Havant and East Hampshire Mind have been given �323,000 by Sport England to help families of a low income stay active. The charity will work alongside Havant's branch of Oarsome Chance as part of the project based in Leigh Park.''Picture by Malcolm Wells (180522-9760)

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IT’S a test which gives people a quick indication of whether they might have HIV and takes only a few minutes to complete.

The Rapid HIV free test involves taking a drop of blood from a finger, and in 60 seconds one of three results will be given.

It could show a negative result, which means there are no detectable HIV antibodies in your blood using the test.

Reactive would mean the test has detected HIV antibodies in the blood – a person will be required to have another test at a clinic to confirm the result.

An invalid result means the test has not worked.

Lynette Veal, of Seagrove Road, Paulsgrove, has put forward the test, which is run by Solent NHS Trust, forward in the Innovation of the Year category.

She said: ‘Making such a free service available has meant more and more people are getting tested at their convenience – and getting results quickly means they can receive support early and in a safe and confidential environment.

‘Sexual health services have done an excellent job promoting this initiative in Portsmouth.

‘I believe the sexual health services team needs to be commended for making it that much easier, and accessible, for people to get tested for HIV.’

Andrew Smith, the trust’s sexual health promotion and HIV lead, said: ‘As a service we are very proud to have been nominated for this award.

‘The team worked incredibly hard to develop this programme to help encourage the normalisation of HIV testing in the community.

‘HIV Quick Check is focused on reducing the late diagnosis of HIV, and it has given people who would perhaps not have accessed a HIV test in a more traditional setting like a clinic, the opportunity to take control of their sexual health and get checked out in an environment they feel comfortable in.’

The deadline for nominations has been extended until Friday, July 17.

The awards night takes place on Friday, October 9, at the Portsmouth Guildhall, details will be given on tickets.

How to nominate

Complete the nomination form in The News today, and send to Priya Mistry, The News, 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Western Road, Portsmouth, PO6 3EN.

Alternatively email your nomination to healthawards@thenews.co.uk

A full list of the categories can be seen in The News today.