Tesco Extra store to offer HIV testing

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Tesco has become the first supermarket to offer free HIV testing at one of their stores.

Customers will be able to use the service at the Tesco Extra branch in Slough.

Sexual health charity Thames Valley Positive Support (TVPS), set up the testing centre in order to normalise HIV testing.

TVPS Chief executive Sarah Macadam said: “Testing in supermarkets has only ever been offered as a one-off event and not a regular basis.

“We are extremely pleased that Tesco are so committed to their community’s well-being which is enabling us to bring such an innovation in testing to Slough.”

Slough has been identified as having the third highest rate of HIV infection in the south-east outside London.

Tesco is setting up the “community room” in the store for six weeks starting Monday 19 May. If the project is successful, the charity hopes that it’ll become a permanent addition to the Tesco store.

Figures released in November last year by Public Health England showed HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) at an all-time high.

18% (7,300) of MSM in England who are HIV positive are unaware of their infection.

Director of Policy and Campaigns at the National AIDS Trust: Yused Azad said: “Anything which encourages people who may not have had a test to have one is a good thing.

“HIV testing in libraries, night clubs and shops are all being tried in London and other areas of high HIV prevalence with some great successes.”