Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, will be visiting HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) on Friday 16 April at 11.00am. The centre provides a dedicated range of sexual health services, including one-hour HIV testing, one to one counselling, and support groups for people living with HIV.

During her visit, Kerry McCarthy will meet local service users and staff at the centre and find out first hand about the issues people in the city are facing regarding sexual health.

Figures show that in 2008, 2,580 people were accessing treatment for HIV in the South West. This is a 10% increase from the previous year. In addition, one in four people who have HIV in the region remain undiagnosed, so have HIV without knowing it. In the build up to the General Election it’s crucial that MPs are aware of local issues, including whether current sexual health services meet people’s needs.

Kerry McCarthy MP said: “The Terrence Higgins Trust provides an invaluable service for many people across Bristol. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet the staff and service users. It’s really important to help raise awareness of the essential work they do.”

Steve Jones, Regional Manager for Terrence Higgins in the South West, said: “It’s great that local politicians are taking an interest in THT’s work and helping us to raise awareness of issues related to sexual health. HIV is the fastest growing serious long term health condition in the UK, so it’s vital that screening programmes, support services and other sexual health services in the city are given the priority they deserve.”

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