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NAT and BHIVA launch advice on HIV for detention and removal centres

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NAT (National AIDS Trust) and the British HIV Association (BHIVA) have launched the first ever best practice guidance to support detainees living with HIV in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs).  

In recent years there has been increasing concern at failures to meet the HIV-related needs of asylum applicants. The process of detention and removal has resulted in real difficulties for asylum seekers living with HIV. Research shows that people living with HIV have not always received the care they need and in some cases asylum seekers have had vital antiretroviral treatment interrupted whilst at an IRC.1
The advice entitled Detention, Removal and People Living with HIV, produced in partnership with IRC healthcare managers, is a practical resource for healthcare, voluntary sector and other professionals working with detained HIV-positive asylum seekers in IRCs. 
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments:
“With many asylum-seekers coming from countries with high HIV-prevalence, it is important that those working in removal and detention centres understand the needs of people living with HIV.  Healthcare managers and HIV clinicians working in IRCs have a duty to ensure asylum applicants living with HIV receive the best possible treatment, care and support throughout the process. We hope this guide will become a constant reference and useful tool for those working in this field.”
Dr Ian G. Williams, Chair of BHIVA, said:
“It is extremely important that asylum seekers with HIV infection detained at IRCs receive best care for their HIV infection.  Failure to do so increases the risk of adverse consequences of HIV infection on their future health.  It is important the IRCs recognise this and that HIV specialist clinicians are able to liaise effectively with the IRCs to ensure continuing best care for HIV infected detainees.  This guide is an important and useful resource to enable this to happen.”
Download Detention, Removal and People Living with HIV.

Notes to the editor:

1 - Immigration Removal Centre Responses to HIV and AIDS: Results of a Survey of Healthcare Managers, NAT 2006 (available to download here)
For further information please contact:

Katherine Sladden
Communications Officer
020 7814 6733 / 07947 725299
BHIVA Secretariat
020 8369 5380
The British HIV Association (BHIVA) has become the leading UK professional association representing professionals in HIV care. Founded in 1995, it is a well-established organisation which is committed to providing excellence in the care of those living with and affected by HIV. The Association acts as a national advisory body to professions and other organisations on all aspects of HIV and holds two conferences each year. BHIVA works to promote undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education within HIV. To set achievable targets and indicators of care, BHIVA conducts annual clinical audits. To help promote and monitor high standards of care, BHIVA publishes national guidelines covering aspects of HIV management.
Please see the BHIVA website at for further details on the Association.
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.
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