National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) promotes HIV testing to gay and bisexual men and black African men and women. These groups make up seven out of 10 people in the UK living with HIV.
NHTW 2016, which ran from Saturday 19 November, was the fifth annual testing week. We’d like to thank everyone who supported the week by getting tested, running events and offering additional testing services, tweeting and promoting the week on social media.
For NHTW 2016, 28 organisations listed 211 separate testing events on the online ‘Test Finder’ tool, and nearly 320 organisations participated by ordering 735,999 resources to use during NHTW.
In addition to local activity, over 20,000 postal kits were ordered online with the majority of orders originating from social media and mobile app advertising.
There was significant outdoor advertising in 12 key cities, and a number of local authorities paid for their own media placements with HPE providing the artwork. Print, outdoor and digital media provided over 30 million opportunities for content to be viewed, and there were 248 separate pieces of media coverage by local and national print and broadcast press.
How National HIV Testing Week works
The week is co-ordinated by HIV Prevention England (HPE) with support and participation from organisations in the public, statutory and private sectors, and promotes the benefits of regular testing and treatment for both the individual and community.
It raises awareness of the importance of HIV testing, as well as increasing opportunities to test – be it in clinical settings, in primary care, through community-based rapid testing or via postal testing. The ultimate goal is to increase regular HIV testing in the most affected groups.
Last year hundreds of organisations participated by raising awareness, providing extra testing opportunities and promoting services – with many using NHTW resources.
NHTW welcomes the participation of any organisation whose work reaches England’s key populations affected by HIV.
A survey of organisations and clinics after NHTW 2016 found that:
- 88 per cent of organisations agree that NHTW is a valuable addition to HIV prevention efforts.
- 96 per cent said that they would support NHTW in 2017.
- 64 per cent agreed that NHTW increased their capacity to impact their community/clients. The biggest impact was through increasing awareness of the importance of HIV testing in the local community (87.2 per cent), followed by delivering more HIV tests (56.41 per cent).
- Of those organisations who provide HIV testing, over 34 per cent provided at least twice as many tests as a regular week.
Know Your Needs
Knowing the needs of your local area is the best way of understanding what is working and what needs to improve. You can find out how your area is doing in comparison to the national average for HIV prevalence and late HIV diagnoses by using Terrence Higgins Trust’s online tool.