A symposium on opt-out testing was hosted with Andy Street in central Birmingham last week, with figures from government, the NHS and charities uniting to emphasise the importance of default testing for HIV among patients admitted to Accident & Emergency.
Turnout alone was suggestive of how important the West Midlands HIV community believe opt-out testing is and could be. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street agreed he was keen to support. Garry and Rachel seemed surprised and happy to be presented with an award by Andy too.
During the event, Garry Jones and Rachel Greaves of the Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial were presented with an award recognising their contribution to the city by the Mayor. It was a great moment that emphasised the keen interaction in Birmingham and elsewhere between grassroots activism and local government. We’re hopeful for movement on opt-out testing in the coming months.