Sahir House wants you to know your status with free HIV testing in Liverpool

Following national HIV testing week, we find out more about Sahir House, HIV testing and the importance of knowing your status.

In the video above Jay meets nurses Liz & Tracey who explain just how easy and how important a HIV test is.

Sahir House has been offering HIV support, prevention, information and training across Merseyside since 1985. With a focus on increasing HIV knowledge, reducing stigma and fronting campaigns for HIV positive people’s rights, Sahir House provides a number of vital services across Merseyside.

This week The Guide Liverpool is proudly supporting the agency’s efforts ahead of World Aids Day on Friday 1st December and we’ll be bringing you insights into the support services on offer.

Watch below as Jay chats with Nicki at Sahir House on Dale Street, to hear an open and honest account of life with HIV.

Jay also met Serena Cavanah from Shair House to find our more about the great work that they do, and about how you can help.

As Nicki explains in the video above, everyone should know their status, HIV testing is free and there are a number of ways to find out your status on Merseyside. Sahir House, Abacus, Liverpool Sexual Health Clinic, Brook, Student Health and your own GP practise will be able to arrange a HIV blood test for you.

DID YOU KNOW?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that damages the cells in your immune system and weakens your ability to fight everyday infections and disease. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged by the HIV virus. While AIDS can’t be transmitted from one person to another, the HIV virus can.

Having spent decades surrounded by stigma, people with HIV are able to speak freely at Sahir House, without fear of prejudice, stigma, abuse or exploitation and it’s a place where their personal information and right to confidentially will be respected. Focused on normalising HIV testing, Sahir House works alongside Merseyside schools to dispel the misconceptions about HIV amongst the younger generations as education and early testing is crucial to health promotion and awareness.

Back in the 80’s it was commonly thought that only certain groups of people could contract HIV, when in reality it can affect people from all walks of life. Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK alone. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history

World AIDS Day (WAD) – is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. Sahir House is hosting three very special events alongside World Aids Day and you can get involved….

1 – A Celebration of Life

Brian Kennedy is performing at this year’s Celebration of Life at the Philharmonic Music Room on Thursday 30th November from 7:30pm, hosted by Gerry Potter and supported by local singer songwriter Daisy Gill. Tickets available here.

2 – World Aids Day Vigil

There is a World AIDS Day Vigil at St Brides Church, from 5 – 7pm this Friday evening. With guest speakers, Up for Arts Community Choir, a reading of remembrance list by candle light and everyone is welcome. This is a free event.

3 – Sonic Yootha Presents: One Night Stand

On Friday 1st December Sonic Yootha present – One Night Stand, an evening of fundraising for Sahir House and the vital support it offers the people of Merseyside. Get down to District from 9pm, it’s just £5 on door and all money raised goes to Sahir House. Find out more here.

You can be a #HIVChampion , just like our Jay and champion HIV testing in the lead up to and during this national campaign.  Sahir House is looking for people to film a short 10 – 20 second clip on a phone, and tweet during National HIV Testing Week to show your support and to encourage others to know their status. Click here to find out more. 

To find out more about the services that Sahir House offers, and to know your status, head to www.sahir.org.uk or follow @SahirHouse on Twitter for regular updates or call 0151 237 3989 to speak to the team.

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