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Broaden HIV screenings, says report

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kevinkelleher
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Broaden HIV screenings, says report
Posted on: May 28 2010, 12:03 pm

HIV screening tests should be rolled out universally, rather than just targeting high-risk groups, a report by Welsh Assembly members has said.

The report argues that if HIV screening was delivered more widely, awareness of the virus would improve among people who do not believe they are at risk.

The report says that wider screening would be "hugely beneficial". It says that government should encourage local health boards to identify ways to routinely offer the service such as antenatal screening.

Dr Olwen Williams, an expert in sexual health and a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Wales committee, said: "We know that people do not come forward for HIV testing as a result of the fear of being stigmatised. There is also the risk to the unborn babies of mothers who decline to be tested."

The report also recommends better training for healthcare professionals and public awareness campaigns aimed at dispelling myths about HIV and AIDS and addressing "unacceptable" discrimination by healthcare providers.

Ann Jones, who is chair of the Assembly equality of opportunity committee said: "It is unacceptable that any person living with HIV should encounter discrimination by healthcare providers and although some improvements have been made, there is still work to be done.

"A key point that this inquiry has highlighted is that there are differences in opinion about whether discriminatory behaviours are the result of a lack of knowledge and experience, or a reflection of discriminatory or prejudicial attitudes."

The report highlights that someone with HIV might be reluctant to make a formal complaint of discrimination, for fear of prejudicing any future treatment.

The report recommends that the Assembly Government develop arrnagements with local health boards to allow all GP and dental practices to be able to contact a HIV specialist to discuss treatment before issuing a prescription. This would allow patients to receive appropriate medication without the GP having to consult their specialist, it says.

It also recommends that HIV and AIDS charities should start letting local health boards know informally of cases of discrimination in their organisations.

http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=12967
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Ben Cromarty
Member
Posts: 451
Re: Broaden HIV screenings, says report
Reply #1 on: May 29 2010, 10:40 am

An interesting report...

...don't the recent BHIVA testing guidelines already say testing should be routinely done in antenatal clinics?

As for the issues about ignorance and stigma - well done, statements of the obvious! But at least it gets discussed...

What does all this mean..."The report recommends that the Assembly Government develop arrnagements with local health boards to allow all GP and dental practices to be able to contact a HIV specialist to discuss treatment before issuing a prescription. This would allow patients to receive appropriate medication without the GP having to consult their specialist, it says." Surely a discussion with the patient's HIV consultant would be better than some generic discussion with "an HIV specialist"? And anyway, isn't the issue that many PLWH don't disclose to their GP anyway?

Is this report just for Wales - I guess so. It does seem as though we do a lot of duplicate work in Wales, Scotland and UK...are things really that different in the regions?

Regards,

Ben
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kevinkelleher
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The case for HIV screening
Reply #2 on: May 29 2010, 02:53 pm

http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/Briefingpaper/document/43
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