This page contains information about national initiatives on earlier testing and relevant links.
Third of HIV diagnosis in UK still occuring late
A third of new HIV diagnoses in the UK in 2008 were made so late that the individuals had a significant risk of developing an AIDS-defining illness, new figures from the Health Protection Agency show.
In 2008 the three relevant clinical associations (the British HIV Association (BHIVA), the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and the British Infection Society (now the British Infection Association)) published the UK National Guidelines for HIV Testing.
Key conclusions and recommendations of the UK National Guidelines for HIV testing:
a list of clinical indicator conditions where the HIV test should be routinely offered
a list of settings where the HIV test should be routinely offered (for example, GU clinic, Termination of Pregnancy services etc)
a local diagnosed prevalence criterion (2 per 1,000 or above) where the HIV test should be routinely offered to new registrants in primary care and in general medical admissions
a list of affected groups who should be routinely offered an HIV test in healthcare settings, including MSM, people from countries with generalised epidemics and injecting drug users.
These remain only recommendations and are now being strongly advocated to healthcare services and professionals. Some pilot testing initiatives have been funded to demonstrate the acceptability and cost effectiveness of these recommendations.
NAT, with BASHH and GMFA (Gay Men Fighting AIDS), have recently produced a leaflet which for the first time explains how frequently MSM are recommended to test.
Work will commence soon to agree within the sector what the recommendations should be for African men and women in the UK on frequency of HIV tests.