Monthly Archives: November 2013

Missed, HIV Testing Week? – Don’t worry we do it all year round :-)

We are pleased publish our advert to promote HIV testing, this advert speaks with 15 languages internationally.

Our message is clear, it is better to know your own HIV status and you can get a HIV test at LASS, and have the result within a minute!

Our team of volunteers have specialist training to provide a free and confidential test, we also have a fantastic support team to provide after-care and further information if required.  We also have established network links so we can refer to more specialist agencies so you can be sure to get expert advice for your needs.

We hope you like our advert and hope that you’ll feel comfortable to contact us if you would like a free and confidential test. (0116 2559995)

Messages of Support from David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband

Messages of support from David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, the leaders of the three largest political parties in the UK.

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Volunteering Contribution Recognised, (Thanks Ebi)!

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Our very own Ebi Ntzhila’s volunteering contribution to LASS was recognised recently at the The Lord Mayor’s civic reception to thank volunteers for their selfless work across the city.

Councillor Mustafa Kamal hosted the event at the Town Hall on Monday, November 25.

It celebrated the valuable contribution volunteering makes to the city and the individuals who make it all possible.

Volunteers were nominated by colleagues, our Chief Executive Officer Jenny Hand (@LASSJennyHand) nominated Ebi.  She was congratulated by the Lord Mayor and presented with a certificate of thanks.

The event was organised by the city council and Voluntary Action Leicestershire.

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Going to Hospital? – How about a HIV Test?

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A London NHS trust is offering all hospital outpatients an HIV test, regardless of why they are there, to tackle the fact that a fifth of people in the UK with HIV are unaware of their infection.

Click to view Channel 4 News video (3:21 min, opens in a new window)

Patients coming in to six hospitals across in east London this week for anything from follow-up appointments to routine blood tests will all be offered an HIV test.

The initiative is part of a national drive to get more people in the UK tested. Around 100,000 people in the UK have HIV, (About 1,300 are within Leicestershire) but experts estimate that around one fifth are unaware of their diagnosis because they have not had a test. This means not only that their condition can become more advanced and harder to treat, but also that they could unintentionally infect others.

Thousands of patients pass through NHS hospitals every day – but at the moment, HIV testing is limited to only a few specific areas.

Dr Chloe Orkin, HIV testing lead for Barts Health NHS Trust, said:

“We are used to seeing health messages all the time in hospitals about stopping smoking, or having a flu jab. Messages encouraging HIV testing should take an important place amongst them.

We are used to seeing messages about stopping smoking. Messages encouraging HIV testing should take a place amongst them.”

Dr Chloe Orkin, Barts Health NHS Trust

The trust aims to test 2,500 outpatients across six London hospitals this week, including the Royal London, in what is thought to be the biggest testing campaign of its kind ever in the UK. It wants to remove the stigma of an HIV test.

HIV infection remains one of the UK’s most important communicable diseases, according to Public Health England. And the problem is worse in some areas, including east London – where people are three times more likely to have HIV than elsewhere in the UK.

But a positive diagnosis is a long way from the “death sentence” that it used to be seen as in the 1980s. Medical advances mean that people diagnosed promptly can expect a near normal life expectancy.

‘I felt let down’

Alan, a 70-year-old Londoner, spent 12 months of illness recently without a diagnosis because none of the doctors who saw him thought of offering him a HIV test.

“Nobody thought to test me for HIV. When I was finally asked if I was willing to be tested I immediately said: ‘Yes, by all means, let’s get that out of the way,'” he said.

“Having been found to be positive at almost seventy years old was a massive shock but once it had sunk in I did feel somewhat let down that nobody had suggested it before, despite the otherwise wonderful care I had received.

“We need to take away the stigma of being tested for HIV so that it becomes a routine test for people visiting hospital irrespective of their gender, ethnicity or age.”

An earlier, smaller pilot at the hospital earlier this year found eight people who were not aware they were HIV positive and who are now receiving treatment. Doctors hope to help more people with the new testing push. Results will be made available within a week and anyone who tests positive will be offered continuing treatment.

Clinicians and HIV charities are united in the belief that testing in this manner is the way forward, but there are issues with cost. Student doctors are providing the tests at the hospital this week.

But Barts NHS Trust says testing like this would ultimately save money. It costs around £5 to do an HIV test and around £5,000 a year to keep an HIV positive person healthy, but it can cost £500,000 to treat someone who is diagnosed late and who needs costly treatments in hospital.

“We want to make it normal for staff to offer HIV tests, and normal for patients to accept them,” said Dr Orkin.

“If a doctor missed a diabetes or cancer diagnosis people would be very upset. Diagnosing HIV patients late by not testing them is just as serious and we need to change this.”

If you would like a free, confidential HIV test, you can visit LASS for a free confidential

Did you know it’s National HIV Testing week this week? – If you’ve never had a HIV Test and had sex at least once, without a condom, then it might be a good idea to get one.

Our tests are free and confidential and iIt only takes a few minutes to get the result. Call us on 0116 2559995 if you’re interested.

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World AIDS Day Music Extravaganza

Live Music

World AIDS Day Music Extravaganza at the Shed, 5 Yeoman St, City Centre, Leicester LE1 1UT (Map) From 4pm to 10pm.

In celebration and tribute to Worlds AIDS Day 2013, a wealth of local talented artists are coming together at The Shed on Sunday, 1st December 2013 to perform a variety of musical styles.  Including Reggae, Acoustic, Folk, Rock (Including Folk Rock and Psychedelic Rock) with Blues and Indi thrown in for good measure.

The event starts with the judging of the World AIDS day fashion design competition, a £50 prize for the winning design, then we kick back with DJ Ibi Sound from 4pm.  The live bands start from 6pm (Schedule and performance video’s below).

Tickets are £3 advance purchase (from LASS or The Shed) and £5 on the door.

World AIDS Day is a big event for us, we’re running a variety of workshops, training sessions and events over HIV Testing Week and World AIDS Day.  We do hope you’re able to come along and join in!

From 4pm, DJ Ibi Sound (Reggae)

From 6pm: Ash Mammal (Acoustic Jam)

From 7pm: Agonal Trace (Folk Rock)

The Harridons (Irish)

From 8pm: Multimorph (Psychedelic rock)

From 9pm: Hott Lixx (Rock)

And in the Chill Out room,  from 6pm,

Tony Jones (Blues)

George Sanderson (Indi)

Small Blue Dot (Folky Duo)

Kenny Wilson (Folk)

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It’s here! – NATIONAL HIV TESTING WEEK

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After last year’s successful National HIV Testing Week, it’s now established as a permanent part of the HIV prevention calendar.

New figures show there are over 1000 people living within Leicester and Leicestershire (757 city residents and 251 from Leicestershire)

Dr Fu-Meng Khaw, centre director for Public Health England in the East Midlands, said:

“People who are unaware of their infection are likely to be those most at risk of transmitting HIV to others.  “Earlier diagnosis will help reduce new HIV infections across the UK.”

Jenny Hand, chief executive of Leicestershire AIDS Support Services, said:

“The big message we need to get out is that people need to know their status.  Getting a test is the one thing they can do right now to help stop the spread of HIV.”

We are working with Public Health England to extend the number of testing opportunities over the week.  One of the aims is increase the uptake of testing in the different African communities in Leicester.

The figures are only an indication of how many people are affected by HIV.”

Mike Sandys, Leicestershire County Council‘s acting director of public health, said:

“This is a good initiative. We need to encourage people to test because, in the vast majority of cases, HIV is passed on by someone who doesn’t yet know they have the virus.  Modern drug treatments drive down the level of virus in the body, often to an undetectable level.

This means someone with HIV who has tested positive and is on treatment is far less likely to pass on the virus than who someone who does not yet know they have it. So if everyone is tested, we could start to see new infections fall among our communities.”

Ms Hand also said:

“We hope the national week will help to really convince people they should know their status.  The test is a finger prick for blood and the results take 60 seconds.

HIV is now considered a long-term condition and not a terminal illness.  The biggest issue is still around stigma and discrimination.”

Rapid HIV testing is available at LASS, (53 Regent Road, Leicester, LE1 6YF) and at other locations this week.

Not content to offer JUST A HIV Test, why not pop in today for a a general check up? – We’re offering a free testing for Diabetes, Blood Pressure, BMI, Blood Glucose and of course, a Rapid HIV Test.

We’re also on hand to provide information and advice on a range of subjects including tuberculosis, HIV awareness and Sexual health.

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Knowing, a short film by John Saint-Denis.

From Impulse Group and The Advisorie, comes this artistic and educational short, a sexy portrayal of a couple taking the next step in their relationship, and the influence that knowledge, communication and compassion has on their deeper connection.

Why not know? Why not ask? Why not tell?

Impulse Group teamed up with Tastemaker, John Saint-Denis of the Advisorie Group, Producer, Chris Rallo; and Director, Nino Mancuso; known for their artistic digital short films that bring story to life. This short highlights the journey from a break-up to knowing one’s HIV status to communicating that status. And of course, love and compassion prevail. ♥

Parker, played by Kyle Heinen, finds that love in his unlikely nerdy co-worker, Billy, played by Namir Nasir.

Additional cast includes: Tim Lee, Daniel Del Valle, John Saint-Denis, Eli Davis, Daniel Gradias and Jessica Piersee.   YouTube heartthrob, Eli Lieb of Los Angeles donated his haunting cover of Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ to the film.

What do you think to the movie?

If you’re thinking now about having a HIV test, you should know it’s National HIV Test week from Friday so you’ve got an excuse to visit and take a test.  You can visit LASS for a free confidential HIV test (You’ll get the results straight away)!  Drop in to 53 Regent Road, Leicester, LE1 6YF (Map) or call us on 0116 2559995 if you fancy a chat!

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