Tory MP takes HIV test for World AIDS Day

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A Conservative MP had a 15-minute HIV test at a parliamentary reception on Tuesday evening to encourage more people to take up testing.

Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, has a constituency with one of the largest estimates of HIV-positive gay and bisexual men.

He was given a finger-prick blood test and was told he was HIV-negative.

The event was hosted by former health secretary Lord Fowler and organised by HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust to encourage more uptake of HIV testing.

Mr Kirby, the vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS, said: “I am delighted to support this vitally important issue. We all need to work together to increase HIV testing because it is in everyone’s interests.

“I hope that this World AIDS Day more people who may have been at risk of HIV will decide to get tested. People used to think an HIV diagnosis was like a death sentence, but HIV treatment has moved on so much in the last few years. An HIV diagnosis today is something that could save your life, because as long as you get the treatment in time, you can expect to live well into old age.”

Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We’re so pleased Simon is helping us to raise awareness of this important issue. People with undiagnosed HIV are not only putting their own health at risk, they are also more likely to pass the virus on unwittingly, so it’s vital we encourage more people to come forward for testing.”