Celebrities and activists backed a campaign launched during National HIV Testing Week which set out to break down the stigma and discrimination about having an HIV test, and let people know that it can only take a minute to know your HIV status.
Five well-known faces from diverse backgrounds, from reality TV stars to LGBTQ+ campaigners, each released a short film on their social media channels during the campaign (17-23 November), which was pioneered by the distributors of INSTI, the world’s fastest HIV test.
The short films built awareness that it only takes 60 seconds to do a finger-prick test, which can be done at home or carried out by a trained professional at NHS clinics or public health charity organisations.
Some of the videos can be seen here:
Model and acivitist Munroe Bergdorf: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqXJezyF2HH/;
TV personality and magazine editor Vas J Morgan: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqX1jc1lCv3/
GP and medical broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqXRUZelToZ/;
Reality TV star Jordan Davies: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqXLf51FAjD/;
Influencer, columnist and author Justin Myers: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqXTJF7lcnE/
Influencer Anna Kissed: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqW-SHzFbUQ/.
National HIV Testing Week is a flagship campaign by HIV Prevention England to promote regular testing among the most affected population groups in the UK and to reduce the rates of undiagnosed people, as well as those diagnosed late.
The aim of the #onlyaminute campaign from INSTI is to make people aware that HIV is still a real risk in the 21stcentury and encourage them to take a test.
Speaking on behalf of INSTI, Louise Ball, Marketing Director, said:
“In the UK, the combination prevention approach to HIV means we are seeing a significant drop in HIV diagnoses for the first time and it is no longer the killer virus we thought it was in the 1980s. The fight against HIV and Aids has made significant progress and today, millions of people living with HIV are leading healthy and proactive lives, but we still have a long way to go.
She added: “HIV can affect people of all backgrounds and age groups and our aim has been to target as wide a sector of the population as possible, using well-known names to do so. We hope that by reaching their followers, we can build awareness, breakdown taboos and encourage more people to take an HIV test and therefore know their status.”
More information on the INSTI HIV Self-Test can be found here: https://www.hivhometest.com/
“Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK and every year 5,000 people are diagnosed with the virus. Globally, nearly 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the deadliest illnesses of all time.
“It makes sense to know your HIV status and get it diagnosed early, while it is easier to treat. That’s why I am supporting National HIV Awareness Week and INSTI, the world’s fastest HIV test.
Vas J Morgan:
“This week is National HIV Awareness Week and I am giving HIV the finger and reminding people that it only takes a minute to know your HIV status.”
Dr Hilary Jones:
“While new cases of HIV have been dropping among young people in the UK, a study last year showed that it’s the opposite in the over 50s. HIV rates are climbing in this age group and their GPs are often not aware that they are at risk.
“Over 50s are more likely to be infected through heterosexual sex and to have more advanced virus when it’s finally diagnosed, making it harder to treat and potentially life-threatening.
“It’s therefore vitally important that people, who are potentially newly single and becoming sexually active with new partners, or indeed have reached the menopause and therefore think there is no need to protect themselves, do not become complacent about HIV.”
“Whether you are straight, gay, bi, or however you describe your sexuality, it’s your responsibility to protect your sexual health and to know your HIV status. That’s why I am supporting National HIV Testing Week and giving HIV the finger with the #onlyaminute campaign.
“You know, it only takes a ‘little prick’ to take a test and you will know your results within 60 seconds.”