THT encourages UK Africans to ‘Be Wise’ about their sexual health, with new guide encouraging regular testing for HIV and STIs

THT encourages UK Africans to

HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is launching a free guide for African communities in the UK, stressing the importance of regular testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The guide, called ‘Be Wise’, has been funded by the Pan-London HIV Prevention Programme to tackle high rates of HIV among Africans.

In the UK, African communities are the group at highest risk of contracting HIV; the most recent figures from 2007 show Black Africans represented around 40% of all new HIV diagnoses. The ‘Be Wise’ guide will be an important resource for these communities, ensuring Africans are equipped with the knowledge necessary to protect themselves from HIV and STIs.

The free guide takes readers through the entire testing process step by step, first explaining why it’s important to be regularly tested, before describing what the tests actually involve and where they are available from, as well as busting some of the myths that surround sexual health clinics.

Marc Thompson, Deputy Head of Health Promotion at THT, says: “There are so many myths about what actually goes on at sexual health clinics, some of which may discourage people from coming forward for testing. For example, some people may not realise that testing is usually free, anonymous, and most clinics will see you without an appointment.

“It’s important that the ‘Be Wise’ guide doesn’t just help Africans understand how the testing process works but also why they should be testing regularly. The HIV epidemic is having a significant effect on the UK’s African communities today, so it’s vital we make sure people have all the information they need to protect themselves.”

The ‘Be Wise’ guide is available free of charge from African community organisations, sexual health clinics and Terrence Higgins Trust service centres in London.

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