World Aids Day networking event THIS LUNCHTIME

World Aids Day networking event THIS LUNCHTIME <i>(Image: Isle of Wight County Press/Isle of Wight Council.)</i>
World Aids Day networking event THIS LUNCHTIME (Image: Isle of Wight County Press/Isle of Wight Council.)

An Isle of Wight networking event is about to get underway at Quay Arts, Newport, this lunchtime (Thursday) to mark World Aids Day.

Between 1.30pm and 4pm, it will be a chance to remember loved ones and to support people living with HIV.

Representatives from organisations supporting the Island's LGBTQ+ community, (including Isle of Wight Pride, Breakout Youth, the sexual health service and volunteers from Out On An Island) will also be there.

Each year in the UK more than 4,000 people are diagnosed with HIV.

Places to turn and people to talk to if you are worried about HIV and Aids

  • If you want an HIV testing and/or to speak to someone confidentially, call the Island's team by booking an appointment on 0300 300 2016.

  • If you are 18 or older, order an STI testing kit which includes an HIV test, online HERE

  • The results are sent via text within seven working days of kit samples being returned

Councillor Karl Love, Isle of Wight Council's cabinet member for public health, said: "World Aids Day is a special day for David, my partner, and I.

"Today, we remember the passing of our Island friends in quite tragic circumstances from HIV in the 1990s.

"We also think of friends living with HIV and the battle they personally have and carry with great dignity and hope.

"Many people still conceal their HIV status from others for fear of discrimination and hatred.

"While there is not yet a vaccine, there are ways to reduce the risk of catching HIV through pre-exposure prophylaxis and safer sexual practices. There are also now excellent treatments to prevent the illness progressing."

Councillor Love also paid tribute to the Island's 'passionate, caring and confidential' sexual health service, thanking staff for their dedication.