A young woman has been praised on World AIDS Day, today, for encouraging others to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI).

Ellie, from the George House Trust, was diagnosed at 21-years-old after taking a routine STI test despite not showing any symptoms.

Five years on, she is campaigning for more people to test regularly and to end the stigma around AIDS and HIV.

She said: “I was diagnosed when I was 21 from a routine STI test.

“I didn’t have any symptoms and didn’t think I had anything; I had taken one as a precaution between partners.”

She added: “I think it is so important that we get people into the clinics and get people tested, whether you think you have anything or not, it is really important to stay on top of your health.”

World AIDS Day has been held on December 1 every year since 1988.

It is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who've died of the disease. 

Bury Times: World AIDS Day

Mayor of Bury, Cllr Sandra Walmsley, said: “We have been highlighting World AIDS day today and remembering those lost over the years.

“We are tackling the stigma around AIDS and HIV and highlighting the importance of getting tested.”

She added that meeting Ellie had been a wonderful experience and believed her story was one ‘we ought to share’.

Bury Times: World AIDS Day

She said: “If this will encourage you to go out and get tested please do.

“Whether you are gay, straight, bisexual, trans, sexually active or not, it is really important that you test yourself regularly.

“Please don’t worry about it just get tested”.

STI tests, advice, and more information can be found on the NHS website.

Anyone seeking advice who is living with HIV can contact George House Trust on 0161 274 4499 or email: talk@ght.org.uk