Soho sexual health clinic breaks HIV testing record

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A central London clinic has broken its own HIV testing world record to mark World Aids Day.

Medics from Chelsea and Westminster's HIV and sexual health clinic in Soho tested 745 people in eight hours on Saturday, compared with 467 last year.

Six people tested positive during the testing, at the G-A-Y Bar on Old Compton Street.

Latest figures suggest 25,000 people in the UK are unaware that they have the virus.

The clinic, based at 56 Dean Street, held walk-in tests that provided results in 60-seconds.

'Home-grown thing'

Those who tested positive have been taken to the clinic for confirmatory tests and will return to see a doctor during the week.

Dr Alan McOwen from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, who ran the event, said finding out early could add up to 16 years to life expectancy.

"Eighty per cent of people who catch HIV catch it from someone who doesn't know themselves," he said.

"So if we can reduce undiagnosed HIV, we'll break transmission."

He said that heterosexual HIV was becoming "much more of a home-grown thing than it used to be".

"In the last year the number of people who are heterosexual and caught their HIV inside the UK has risen, there were 1,500 cases," he said.

"That's a huge shift because heterosexual HIV used to be imported as people immigrated into the UK."

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