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New sexual health clinic launched at Watford Town Hall

 Published on: 29th November 2016   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

A new sexual health clinic was launched in Watford this month to mark the start of National HIV Testing week. HIV Testing Week is all about encouraging those who may be at risk to get tested in order to reduce late diagnosis of HIV. The new clinic, which has moved from its former home at Watford General Hospital to the new, easily accessible town centre location at Watford Town Hall, will provide HIV testing and treatment as well as a range of sexual health and contraceptive services. In 2015 there were 1,111 people aged 15-59 living with diagnosed HIV in Hertfordshire. However 2014 estimates suggest that 17 per cent of those living with HIV are unaware of their infection. Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for public health, localism and libraries, Teresa Heritage, said: “I am delighted to be part of the launch of this valuable service, which will make sexual health services in Watford even more accessible to our residents. “Although the late diagnosis rate is going down slowly in Hertfordshire, testing early is vital. From 2013-15, nearly 50 per cent of HIV diagnoses in Hertfordshire were at a late stage, which meant that the virus had already begun to damage the immune system. We know that the sooner someone with HIV starts treatment, the better it is for their health. “This clinic will mean that people can access free, fast and confidential HIV testing more easily and I hope that anyone who thinks they might be at risk will take up the opportunity to get tested.” Mayor Dorothy Thornhill added: “As a patron of Herts Aid I know how important clinics like this are in diagnosing and treating HIV and supporting patients. This new facility situated at the town hall is easy to access and offers a wide range of services, treatment and advice in a confidential environment.” For more information, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/sexualhealth and follow the link to HIV or call Sexual Health Hertfordshire on 0300 008 5522.

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