North Middlesex University Hospital's lead doctor for HIV is urging local people to get tested for the virus because a fifth of the 2,000 local people infected in Enfield and Haringey do not know it, research shows.
If untreated, the virus can destroy the human immune system, cause AIDS and there is a greater chance of infecting others.
But with early diagnosis and treatment, almost everyone with HIV can live a normal life, have a family and work. Treatment also protects loved ones from infection and is very safe.
Speaking on World Aids Day (1 December), Dr Achim Schwenk [pictured below, second from right] deputy medical director and HIV lead at North Middlesex University Hospital, urged: “If you don’t know your HIV status, please go to see your GP or drop into one of our community sexual health clinics. We provide a welcoming and safe place for people to get tested, whatever your gender, sexuality or ethnic group.”
Tests can be carried out quickly at the hospital’s community sexual health clinic in Burleigh Way, Enfield. A second clinic at the Angel, Edmonton, is opening early next year which will also serve people from Haringey.
Full details of the hospital’s clinics, known as the Enfield Community Health Clinics Organisation (ECHO) are on its website at www.echoclinics.nhs.uk. You can also book an appointment by calling the hospital’s Alexander Pringle Centre on 020 8887 4510.