The coronavirus crisis has offered “a unique opportunity in a generation to fight HIV,” said a major sexual health clinic.
The London-based sexual health clinic, 56 Dean Street, urged people to get tested for HIV by ordering free home test kits online, to reduce the number of new cases when the lock is lifted.
They said that transmission has “dropped dramatically” in the past few weeks because “there are fewer people having sex in London” and that rapid testing can prevent people from transmitting HIV to others.
In an online statement, they said, “Covid-19 presents a unique opportunity in a generation in the fight against HIV.
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London-based sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street says the coronavirus crisis has offered a unique generation-to-generation opportunity to fight HIV (stock image)
“In the past few weeks, HIV transmission has dropped dramatically. Because there are fewer people having sex in London, fewer people are getting HIV.
They then explained that when a person first gets HIV, they are more likely to infect others with the virus.
However, as most people who have recently contracted the disease remain because of the lockdown, the cases have further decreased.
“Besides, when someone catches the virus for the first time,” the clinic continued. “They are super contagious and more likely to transmit HIV than normal.
Dr. Alan McGowan (photo) said in a video for the clinic that “the vast majority of people with HIV can be detected by a test” during the lockout
“But since there are not many super-infectious people, this has further reduced transmission.”
Dr. Alan McGowan said in a video for the clinic: “Because it takes a little time for HIV to show up in tests right now.
“Because people have not had sex, the vast majority of people infected with HIV can be detected by a test.
“So if we all act now and order a home HIV test, we can eliminate HIV from our community.
He urged people to get tested for HIV by ordering free home test kits online, in an effort to reduce the number of new cases when the lock is lifted
“We are only going to have this chance once. I ask not only to test you, but to encourage all other gay people you know to take the same test.
The statement went on to explain that transmission of the virus could remain weak after the pandemic, if tests are increased now.
They said, “People who test positive can start medication immediately, which means they cannot pass it on.
“For everyone, this is the perfect time to protect your health with PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and condoms. More information on PrEP here.
“In addition, managing your sexual health puts less pressure on the NHS.”
There is currently no evidence of a higher Covid-19 infection rate or a different course of disease in people living with HIV than in people who are HIV negative.
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