Sports

Terrence Higgins Trust and African Nations Cup UK team up to encourage HIV testing

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This June, HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust will once again partner with the African Nations Cup UK to offer free HIV tests throughout the football tournament.

 

This will be the fourth year that the charity has teamed up with the African Nations Cup UK to raise awareness of HIV and encourage regular testing among African communities in the capital, particularly African men. At this year’s event at the West Ham Memorial Grounds in East London, Terrence Higgins Trust staff will provide advice and information on sexual health to players and spectators. Trained clinical staff will also provide rapid HIV tests on request.

 

African communities remain one of the groups most at risk of HIV in the UK, and the group most likely to be diagnosed at a late stage. In 2012, around two-thirds of Africans were diagnosed late, after a point when they should have already started treatment.

 

Terrence Higgins Trust will be testing at the African Nations Cup UK on Saturday 31st May, Sunday 1st June, and Saturday 7th June from 11.00am. The tests offered are free and confidential, involving a finger-prick blood test with the result delivered within 15 minutes. Information and support will be provided before and after the test, and anyone who tests positive will be quickly referred to a specialist clinic.

 

Daniel Lutaaya, Marketing Director of the African Nations Cup UK, said: “Our long term partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust has empowered our community with knowledge about HIV.”

 

Dennis K. Mahadha, the founder of the tournament, added: “This community event has grown from strength to strength demonstrating that partnership and team work produces fantastic results we can all be proud off. We are thrilled to continue this partnership.”

 

Marcy Madzikanda, Health Improvement Specialist for Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with the African Nations Cup. The tournament is a fantastic opportunity for our charity to get out there, meet the community, and get people talking about HIV testing. Too many Africans in the UK are only getting tested after their health deteriorates, putting them at risk of serious health problems. We want to get our communities talking more openly about this issue, and testing much more regularly.”

 

The African Nations Cup UK is one of the biggest community football tournaments in the UK, with 20 teams representing different African nations competing for the trophy. Terrence Higgins Trust has worked in partnership with the tournament since 2011.

 

For further information on the project, please email marcy.madzikanda@tht.org.uk. For further information about the African Nations Cup UK, please visit www.africannationscupuk.com.

 

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