The current system of HIV-testing on the NHS is failing patients and should be radically overhauled, according to new research presented at the joint British HIV Association (BHIVA) and British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) Conference in Liverpool (1-4 April 2014). There are almost 100,000 people in the UK living with HIV, but approximately a quarter remain undiagnosed. Late diagnosis of HIV is associated with eight times greater mortality than when the disease is identified early.
A new audit of HIV testing at Monklands District General Hospital in Glasgow showed that only a small minority of people with an indicator condition for HIV were offered an HIV test. A second audit of diagnosed patients found numerous missed previous opportunities for testing. On one occasion a diagnosis could have been made nine years earlier.
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