Call for HIV testing as cases rise

Sally Myerscough, HIV nurse with the Contraception and Sexual Health Service at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
Sally Myerscough, HIV nurse with the Contraception and Sexual Health Service at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
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Lancashire health chiefs are urging residents to get tested for HIV as the number of cases rocket.

The virus, which attacks the immune system and can prove deadly if left untreated, is now one of the UK’s fastest growing health issues.

An estimated 103,700 people in the UK have HIV – though more than a quarter are unaware they have it, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said.

HIV nurse Sally Myerscough said: “In 2014 alone, some 613 people with HIV in the UK died with the figure increasing each year.”

The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better, she added, though prevention is ‘the most effective way of reducing prevalence’.

Early HIV symptoms include a fever, rash, and sever sore throat. The virus can be caught through unsafe sex, or by sharing needles.