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New HIV Testing Guidelines

Monday, September 1, 2008

NAT (National AIDS Trust) welcomes the new UK National Guidelines for HIV Testing, published by British HIV Association (BHIVA), British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and British Infection Society (BIS).  The guidelines aim to increase HIV testing in a wider range of healthcare settings and reduce late diagnosis. 

There are currently over 80,000 people with HIV in the UK, yet almost a third do not know they are infected.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments:

“Today in the UK people still become seriously ill or die because they have not been diagnosed with HIV early enough. And many may be putting partners at risk of infection as they can live undiagnosed for a number of years.

The new guidelines are a welcome step forward in encouraging doctors and health workers to prioritise diagnosing HIV and increase testing.  Healthcare workers must be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of HIV and be prepared to carry out an HIV test.

Advising that routine HIV testing is offered to all in areas where HIV prevalence is high is an appropriate response to the serious public health challenge of HIV.  It will ensure people with HIV get the treatment they need and will undoubtedly reduce new infections.”

Earlier this year NAT published the report ‘Primary HIV Infection’ [Editor: link no longer available] which showed doctors in the UK often fail to diagnose early-stage HIV infection and included clear recommendations for change.

Notes to the editor:

1- UK National Guidelines for HIV Testing (BHIVA, BASHH and BIS; Sept., 2008) is available to download from:
http://www.bhiva.org/cms1222621.asp

2- Primary HIV Infections (NAT; July, 2008) is available to download from:
http://www.nat.org.uk/document/449

NAT 

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.

Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.

www.nat.org.uk

For further information contact Katherine Sladden, 0207 8146733 / press@nat.org.uk