Looks like you’re on the UK site. Choose another location to see content specific to your location

Home Industry News Call for quicker HIV testing

Call for quicker HIV testing

10th December 2007

GPs and other patient services must be more proactive in offering HIV testing to higher-risk groups, a new study suggests.

Researchers from University College London found that some doctors are missing opportunities to diagnose HIV early in Africans living in the UK.

HIV-positive individuals who are diagnosed late are about 14 times more likely to die within one year of diagnosis than those diagnosed early.

Dr Fiona Burns and colleagues surveyed 263 HIV-positive patients from Africa.

Writing in the journal Aids today, they say that half were diagnosed late despite above average use of primary and secondary healthcare services such as GPs and clinics.

In more than 80 per cent of cases of people who were later diagnosed as HIV-positive, the researchers say HIV testing was never discussed by the GP.

This was in spite of the fact the individuals were coming from countries with high HIV prevalence.

There are an estimated 63,500 adults living with HIV in the UK and the majority of heterosexually-acquired cases are found in African communities.

“What we are seeing here is a failing to utilise opportunities for earlier diagnosis of HIV,” said Dr Burns.

“People are dying because they are not being tested early enough. We need to be in a position where GPs are prepared to discuss HIV risks and offer HIV tests as a matter of course to people from at-risk communities.”

She added that African communities must also increase their awareness of the risks they face and the importance of HIV-testing.

Rhon Reynolds, senior policy officer and deputy chief executive officer of the African HIV Policy Network, said the group welcomed “the important findings from this study”.

We currently have 9 jobs available in Pharmacy industry, find your perfect one now.

Stay informed

Receive the latest industry news, Tips
and straight to your inbox.