‘National’ HIV testing week: where ‘national’ = England

On Facebook this morning, I came across a campaign for a National HIV Testing Week. This seems like a very sensible move to me. After all with the NHS reckoning that 1 in 4 people living with HIV in the UK do not know that they are, the only way they will find out is to take a test. My real problem however is that the site is designed only for people living in England. This is hardly ‘national’. The ‘Starts with me’ website is run by the Terence Higgins Trust whose website says,


…but before we go any further we need to point out something about our campaign.

It Starts With Me has been funded by the Department of Health to reach gay and bisexual men in England and Africans living in England. This is because these two groups are at highest risk of HIV. (tht.org.uk)

A Welsh language logo included in a National Campaign that is only for England. This is getting ridiculous.

As with Embarrassing Bodies, the website is designed for people living in England with only a small afterthought for those who do not. It seems that when British people in England talk about National, they think they mean UK but in fact often it is England only. I think we need to work out ways of funding these campaigns from the other devolved health services so that all of the UK can benefit.

What seems particularly bonkers is that on Facebook there appears to be a Welsh language version of the logo. Although there will be Welsh speakers in England, why do we not have one in either Scots or Irish Gaelic as well?


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