Lockdown ‘has broken the HIV chain’, says leading sexual health clinic

Gay couple HIV AIDS transmission coronavirus

HIV transmission has dropped significantly with lockdown breaking the chain of new cases, a leading sexual health clinic has claimed.

56 Dean Street, a London-based sexual health clinic, is urging people to order free home test kits online in an effort to keep the number of new HIV cases down when the pandemic is over.

The clinic said HIV transmission has “plummeted” during coronavirus lockdown.

“Even COVID clouds have silver linings,” it wrote on its website.

“Fewer hook-ups since lockdown has resulted in a huge reduction of HIV and other STIs. The chain is broken.”

56 Dean Street says an increase in testing could help them ‘beat HIV’.

56 Dean Street said that an increase in testing now could help to “keep transmissions down and beat HIV”.

“We may never get this chance again,” the organisation continued, explaining that the coronavirus pandemic has presented a “once-in-a-generation opportunity in the fight against HIV”.

They said transmission of the virus has “dropped dramatically” in the last few weeks because “there are less people having sex in London”.

“What’s more, when someone first catches the virus, they are super infectious and more likely to pass on HIV than normal,” it continued.

“But because there aren’t many super infectious people around, this has reduced transmission even further.”

Transmission of the virus could remain low after the pandemic if testing is increased.

The clinic says if everyone gets tested during lockdown and knows their status, transmission could be kept at this low rate after the pandemic has come to a close.

Those who test positive during lockdown can start taking medication straight away, which if taken properly would make it impossible for them to pass it on to others through condomless sex.

56 Dean Street provides free home tests for people who want to find out their status, with results delivered via text within a couple of days.

The clinic remains open through the pandemic and can see people on the same day or the following day after they receive their test result.

You can find out how to order a free HIV test here.