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World AIDS Day: Hackney mayor Phil Glanville has public HIV test to spread word that undetectable means untransmissible

PUBLISHED: 17:17 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:21 01 December 2017

Phil Glanville has a HIV test. Picture: Hackney Council

Phil Glanville has a HIV test. Picture: Hackney Council

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Phil Glanville marked World AIDS Day by taking a HIV test in front of the cameras – in the hope of spreading a lifesaving message.

Phil Glanville and health boss Cllr Jonathan McShane with a Do It London HIV prevention poster. Picture: Hackney Council Phil Glanville and health boss Cllr Jonathan McShane with a Do It London HIV prevention poster. Picture: Hackney Council

The mayor’s blood test was in aid of a campaign by East End HIV charity Positive East called Undetectable – Untransmissible (U–U).

The message is that you can’t pass the virus on if you are taking modern HIV medication and have an undetectable viral load.

That means it’s actually safer to sleep with someone who has HIV but is being treated than it is to sleep with someone who hasn’t been tested and doesn’t know their status.

Mr Glanville said: “U–U is a powerful message in tackling HIV stigma which is still all too prevalent, affecting the lives of people living with HIV and our work to reduce transmission.

“It is a message that we want our residents to know and understand, along with the many other ways they can reduce the risk of HIV transmission including regular testing, using condoms and now PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis, drugs you can take to minimise the risk of contracting the virus before you have sex].

“This is why I’m proud that Hackney Council is leading the way and supporting the pan-London ‘Do It London’ campaign – and why I continue to personally champion HIV awareness and fight stigma this World AIDS Day.”

Mr Glanville will switch on the Christmas lights at the Rio Cinema in Dalston at 7.30pm today to mark both World AIDS Day and the beginning of the festive season.

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