At their conference last week, BHIVA issued the 2018 revision of the Standards of Care (SoC) for PLWH. This is a really important document. It focuses on ALL aspects of care, not just ART. There are really 3 “audiences”:
1. Anyone providing any sort of care to PLWH – so that they can see what is expected of them, and measure their performance;
2. Anyone commissioning services (like government or local authorities), to see what is needed and how to measure impact;
3. Anyone receiving services (so anyone living with HIV), so that they can see what is available and what should be expected to be provided.
The document took quite a time to prepare, involving a multi-disciplinary team with clinicians, service providers, commissioners, and most importantly, groups and invidividuals from the voluntary sectors, and those living with HIV. Our voice as PLWH was loud, present in every section, and listened to.
You can read or download the document here:
You will see that these SoC are extremely patient-centric and patient focussed, and emphasise the role of peer support throughout.
The SoC are long and detailed and not that easy to read for a “typical” patient…so BHIVA has promised to produce a more patient-friendly summary of the key points from a patient’s perspective. They will of course involve patients in the writing of this…but it is a few months off, yet, it seems.
Interestingly, the press release from BHIVA for this document started like this:
“There should be no doubt that a person with sustained, undetectable levels of HIV virus in their blood cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners,” Professor Chloe Orkin, BHIVA Chair.
The impact of U=U is huge, and appears in almost every section of the SoC.