Public area - News, events, announcments - Topic started by kevinkelleher - January 5 2010, 02:38 pm

Title: Rapid HIV testing for gay men
Post by: kevinkelleher on January 5 2010, 02:38 pm

It is estimated that about one-third of men who have sex with men (MSM) have undiagnosed HIV and that late presenters are one-fifth of those diagnosed. In line with the 2001 National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV, the West London Gay Menís Project wanted:

    * to reduce the number of undiagnosed HIV infections and late diagnoses
    * to increase the number receiving timely referral for treatment.

The result is a project that uses a unique peer model for HIV testing. Volunteer mentors, counsellors and health trainers, instead of medical staff, run the service. Community-based venues are used to provide services, during out-of-office hours and at the weekend.

The model was developed following consultation with local MSM. The findings showed that an alternative was needed to clinic-based testing, which was often perceived as off-putting and inconvenient.

The CWHFT also devised and facilitates a training programme to support the peer volunteers. This covers:

    * discussions before and after testing
    * how to make a referral to sexual health services
    * strategies for risk reduction and prevention.


The rapid HIV-testing service was piloted for around four months at the start of 2008. It tested 86 men. A positive-result rate of 2.4 per cent was seen[see above]; this compares to around [?] per cent of positive results at existing sexual health clinics.

The service is expanding and includes screening for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Simon Mitchell
London Borough of Hounslow
telephone: 020 8583 2480

Title: Re: Rapid HIV testing for gay men
Post by: kevinkelleher on January 6 2010, 10:09 am
Around 80,000 people in the UK are now living with HIV and the number increases each year. While those diagnosed early can receive life-saving treatment, late diagnosis is the factor most commonly associated with HIV-related death.

Non-HIV specialist clinicians have a vital role to play in improving rates of diagnosis earlier in the course of infection. Over a quarter of those infected with HIV are still undiagnosed. The UK national guidelines for HIV testing 2008 call for increased routine HIV testing in medical settings other than GUM and Infectious Diseases.

This resource pack has been produced by the Medical Foundation for AIDS & Sexual Health (MedFASH), with funding from the Department of Health, to support HIV specialists in helping their secondary care colleagues in other specialties to offer HIV testing more routinely in their daily practice.

The materials in the pack have developed with the active involvement of the Tackling HIV Testing Project Advisory Group, comprising leading experts in the field of HIV and sexual health, general medicine, other important specialties and public health, plus representatives of patient organisations (click here for a full list of contributors).

The pack includes:

    * template documents to assist in the development of a hospital-wide policy on HIV testing such as a protocol for HIV testing adults, patient information and other useful resources for staff and patients
    * slide sets for use in grand rounds and educational meetings
    * HIV for non-HIV specialists: diagnosing the undiagnosed, a practical guide for healthcare professionals in secondary care, which includes the UK national guidelines for HIV testing 2008