30 November 2009
World AIDS Day December 1, 2009
Campaign calls on individuals at risk to get tested
Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (HIV), along with other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), continue to increase in Grampian, with unprotected sexual intercourse by far the most important risk factor. There have been 25 new cases of HIV in Grampian since January 2009.
Individuals at risk from HIV and STIs in Grampian are being targeted in a new campaign to encourage people to get tested.
The campaign being led by NHS Grampian in partnership with the Grampian World AIDS Day Group involves TV, Bus, Digital and Airport advertising which will run from the December 1, 2009 to February 1, 2010.
Dr Maria K Rossi, Consultant in Public Health Medicine said:
"The message is clear: protect yourself and others by using a condom. If you have been at risk - get tested."
Many people wait until symptoms of infection appear before considering going for a test. This can sometimes be weeks, months or even years after the episode of risk and can result from having sex without a condom, having sex or receiving healthcare abroad or sharing drug injecting equipment. If individuals believe they may have placed themselves at risk, it's important they consider early testing to avoid long-term complications and further transmission to others. Effective treatment is available. If started early this is associated with improved health outcomes.
Testing is widely available. You can talk to your GP or contact sexual health services directly. In Grampian there is a new single point telephone number for patients and members of the public. Anyone looking for free and confidential advice, tests or treatment can contact any sexual health clinic in Grampian by calling 0845 337 9900
or log on to
In Grampian there have been 436 cases of HIV since testing began. 25, 34, 23, 46, 46 new cases of HIV have been reported each year from 2004 to 2008. There have been 25 new cases since January 2009. Analysis shows to date that overall risk factors associated with these infections are: heterosexual transmission in 52%, 32% of cases are among men who have sex with men, and injecting drug use accounts for 9%.
The World Aids Day Group is a multi-agency partnership and includes representation from: Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, Aberdeen Foyer, NHS Grampian, Scottish Healthy Working Lives, The City Clinic (Genito-Urinary Medicine) and Square 13 Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health. The partnership combines the knowledge, expertise, resources and objectives of each agency to focus in the importance of increasing sexually transmitted infection testing.
The TV commercial has been funded by the Grampian World AIDS Day Group who held a sponsored fire walk last year.
NHS Grampian welcomes the recent publication of the HIV Action Plan in Scotland, December 2009 to March 2014 and looks forward to progressing prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of individuals at risk of or diagnosed with HIV across Grampian. It can be downloaded from