Wandsworth residents aged 18-59 will now be offered HIV tests as part of routine blood tests, undertaken by St George's Emergency Department.

This new approach will lead to earlier diagnosis and ensure people can begin treatment and lead long and healthy lives.

Patients will have the option to opt out of the testing if they wish. The testing has been introduced following two pilot projects St Georges ED.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend testing is offered to all patients in areas where prevalence of HIV is over 2 in 1000. Wandsworth, Lambeth and Merton all have a prevalence of HIV far in excess of that.

Dr Melissa Hempling, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, said: “Many people living with HIV do not know their diagnosis which is why we are moving to routine testing as targeted strategies do not always work.

“This is a great development for St George’s which will help save lives, prevent the spread of HIV and benefit our local communities.”