To coincide with the start of National HIV Testing Week 2023. “Be PrEped” at Renaissance UK, in partnership with Lancashire Sexual Health Services and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, launches “Patricia – The Little Sexy Bus” to promote PrEP within underserved communities across Lancashire.
PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is a HIV Prevention medication that, if taken correctly, dramatically reduces a person’s risk of contracting HIV and is available free of charge from the NHS.
PrEP is an addition to HIV prevention methods already available, including effective condom use and Treatment as Prevention (U Equals U) and is a significant development in the prevention of HIV, which supports the work of Renaissance UK towards achieving the government target of no new HIV Infections in England, by 2030.
Both the availability and the advantages of PrEP remain under-reported and therefore potentially thousands of individuals who could benefit from its use, do not know it even exists.
Renaissance UK has been supporting the HIV community across Lancashire for almost 20 years. The charity has a long and successful history of finding innovative solutions to problems and this outreach vehicle is the next one.
Patricia, “The Little Sexy Bus”, is an accessible, mobile clinical space that will be visiting both large towns and more rural areas of Lancashire throughout 2023 , with the message of promoting the availability of PrEP and how to access, as well as helping communities to understand the risks of HIV and how to prevent them.
Sexual Health Manager of Renaissance UK, Anthony Harrison-West said, “It’s never been more important to talk about HIV. Advances in prevention, testing and treatment have come so far. With the introduction of PrEP, the free medication that can stop anyone contracting HIV, as well as well as simple treatment for HIV that can stop those living with the condition, being able to pass it on to anyone, means that we can achieve the national target of no new HIV infections by 2030. But we need to keep talking and keep testing. So, I encourage anyone, that has never had a test, young or old, to step up and get a test.” It is estimated that there are over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK, that don’t know they have it. Early diagnosis is really important, so don’t wait, get a test today”.
Testing for HIV in Blackpool is simple and Free. Speak to the teams at Blackpool Sexual Health Services on 0300 1234 154, or visit the website lancashiresexualhealth.nhs.uk for more information, or to order a free postal testing kit.
Or drop in for a Sexual Health Screen at Whitegate Drive Health Centre, Lower Ground Floor, Monday to Friday, 9am – 11am, with no appointment.
You can also speak to your GP Practice, or Health Centre, about HIV testing, or contact Sexual Health Practitioners at 102 Dickson Road for more information.
M2M is a free and confidential drop-in clinic, powered by HORIZON LGBTQ+ and Blackpool Sexual Health Services. Delivered every Tuesday, from the HORIZON LGBTQ+ Offices at 102 Dickson Road, 5.30pm – 7.30pm. M2M is a discreet clinic, exclusively for men that have sex with men. The clinic offers free STI screening, including HIV, with some results available instantly. You can also receive Vaccines for HEP A and Hep B, as well as HPV. And M2M is the only Community Clinic in the northwest, that offers PrEP consultations.
Patricia Tour Dates and locations are as follows …
|Date||Day||Main location||Morning (10am-12am)||Afternoon (1pm- 3pm)|
|6 February||Monday||Preston||Fatima Centre||Flag Market|
|7 February||Tuesday||Accrington and Burnley||Accrington Town Centre||Burnley Sexual health centre (St. Peter’s Health centre)|
|8 February||Wednesday||Clitheroe and Longridge||Edisford Sports Complex||Longridge civic centre|
|9 February||Thursday||Skelmersdale and Ormskirk||Runshaw College
(also supported by Sexual health team)
|10 February||Friday||Lancaster and Morecambe||Dalton Square||Morecambe Football club|
|11 February||Saturday||Morecambe||Morecambe Football club (home game)|