The Pfizer UK Foundation has donated £47,500 to support a Terrence Higgins Trust HIV testing clinic in Birmingham for the next 12 months. The ‘Fastest’ clinic offers a one hour HIV test service; results from sexual health clinics can take several days.
The ‘Fastest’ clinic is located in central Birmingham and is open to everyone, but is particularly targeted for African communities, where a high proportion of HIV remains undiagnosed.
People living with HIV in the UK experience health inequalities which are closely linked to stigma, discrimination, ethnicity, poverty, deprivation and geographical factors.
The clinic provides an alternative HIV testing environment for people who may be reluctant to attend hospitals or sexual health clinics.
Jackie Redding, Director of Development at Terrence Higgins Trust said: “This donation from the Pfizer UK Foundation is invaluable. Treatment advances have meant that early diagnosis can really improve health and long term prognosis. ‘Fastest’ offers a service to those who might not normally have easy access to HIV testing. This funding allows us to take this vital service from a pilot stage and roll it out for a full year.”
The Pfizer UK Foundation, established in 2005, was set-up to address health inequalities arising from social, economic, cultural and demographic factors. It supports a variety of community based projects across the UK.
David Titcomb, a senior manager from Pfizer said: “It’s been incredibly satisfying to have worked with Terrence Higgins Trust on their application to the Pfizer UK Foundation. I’m immensely proud to know that we have been able to help the charity and the local community in such an important area of health”.
‘Fastest’ is run by staff from Whittall Street GUM clinic and Terrence Higgins Trust at the AB plus centre in Birmingham. The service is open access rather than appointment based, and is open on Tuesday afternoons from 2.00 – 5.00pm. Pre and post test counselling and support is offered and anyone who tests positive will be given full support and information on the services provided by Terrence Higgins Trust, AB plus and other organisations.