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UK Africans urged to get tested for HIV

AWARENESS: Africans living in the UK account for a disproportionate amount of new infections

AN AIDS charity is to launch an education programme targeting Africans in the UK to combat statistics that show they disproportionately account for more than half of all new HIV diagnoses.

According to the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), African people are one of the highest risk groups representing 63 percent of all fresh cases diagnosed among heterosexuals in 2009.

It said that 22,000 received treatment for the condition that year, which is 36 per cent of the UK total.

The three-year programme, African Health Promotion Skills, aims to encourage more people to get tested so treatment can begin earlier and also to curb the spread of infection.

Retired basketball player, John Amaechi, is backing the campaign, funded by Barclays, which will be officially launched on Friday, September 30.

Amaechi, the NBA’s first openly gay athlete, will meet with UK Africans and members of the trust, including its chief executive Sir Nick Partridge, to discuss the specific health challenges and how best to tackle it.

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