HIV risk in Forth Valley

NHS Forth Valley are urging people to get checked for HIV
NHS Forth Valley are urging people to get checked for HIV

People across Forth Valley who have injected drugs are being urged to get tested for HIV.

This follows the most serious HIV outbreak in Glasgow for more than a decade.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has seen the number of new cases through injecting drug use more than quadruple.

The normal average is ten new cases a year but in 2015 that figure soared to 44 new cases.

NHS Forth Valley HIV Consultant Dr Kirsty Abu-Rajab said: “The recent Glasgow outbreak reminds us that HIV has not gone away and is still a very real risk for people who inject drugs and share equipment. The key message is to get tested for HIV if you have ever injected drugs.

“The best way to avoid transmission of HIV and other blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis C is to stop injecting drugs. However, if an individual continues to inject it is vital they use new equipment every time and never share needles or any other equipment. It is also important to use a condom for sex and get tested regularly for all blood-borne viruses.”

Testing is easy and can be done at GP surgeries, Signpost Recovery, Community Alcohol and Drug Services and the Forth valley Sexual Health Service.

Further information is available from or by calling the Forth Valley Sexual Health Advice line on 01786 433697 or 01324 613944.