More Married People In West Midlands Catching HIV
1 December 2014, 12:36
A sexual health nurse in the West Midlands has told Heart more and more married and coupled men and women are being diagnosed with HIV.
Latest figures from Public Health England show around 5,500 people in the region are getting treatment for the disease - with around 4,500 of those aged between 25 and 50.
Cathy Hill is a nurse consultant who works in a clinic in Erdington, Birmingham, and told Heart there are worries that around 25% more people in the region do not realise they have the disease.
She said: "In that sort of early 30's age group, partnerships are being formed and there can be a sense of complacency. There is also a trend of having multiple partners and if affairs happen that can put people at risk.
"We certainly do need to reach out to those people to tell them that they do need to take care and understand the risks you run."
Sexual health bosses from Heartlands Hospital's Sexual Health Centre have been in Birmingham city centre in the last week, asking people to take a short test, to make sure they get checked up.
Doctor Steve Taylor is one of the lead consultants there and organises campaigns for charity Saving Lives UK. He organised the campaign in the city centre and told Heart it's a really easy test to take: "We just need to normalise testing so that people can get them more easily.
"Lots of people don't like talking about sex and their sexual health. So it really needs to be more accessible, and a part of a GP check up so that the virus can be picked up earlier.
"It will just help to get those people that need help what they need."
Listen below to our reporter Alex Hulse taking the test on Saving Lives UK's sexual health van in Birmingham this week: