Should millions of patients be offered routine HIV tests?
With an estimate of more than 100,000 people currently living with HIV in the UK, it is believed that there are a further one in eight living with the condition who have never had it diagnosed. It is hoped the new testing guidelines introduced by NICE and Public Health England will be responsible for getting much-needed treatment to more than 3.5 million people in the UK.
HIV diagnosis and treatment
Given the prevalence of HIV in specific geographical locations, further steps will be taken to offer tests to people within these areas via routine appointments with GP surgeries or the hospital. Clinical trial assistants believe that there is so much more work to be done when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, and increased testing is just the start. STI testing London companies such as https://www.checkurself.org.uk/plus/home_sti_kits/ allow for individuals to check themselves from the comfort of their own homes.
The 74 boroughs in which the prevalence of HIV is considered incredibly high or high have been identified by NICE and Public Health England and include some of the major cities, such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Brighton and Hove, along with 18 of the London Boroughs. By being offered the tests, diagnosis and subsequent treatment, patients will greatly benefit from the drugs on the market that are used to control symptoms by significantly reducing the risk of the infection being passed on to others.
The blood test can easily be ordered along with any other blood tests the patient may be scheduled to have. In cases where HIV is particularly prevalent, the blood test can be ordered on its own. The treatment for HIV has improved in leaps and bounds since HIV was first brought to the public’s attention with a hard-hitting nationwide TV advert and is the charitable cause adopted by many high-profile celebrities around the world. This has resulted in a far greater awareness of the illness, the dispelling of multiple myths, and new clinical trials that highlight the various treatments available. Published reports can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hiv-in-the-united-kingdom.
Thanks to medical advances, having HIV no longer means that you are facing a life sentence, and it is hoped that these new guidelines will go a long way toward ensuring that those who are infected are aware and get the necessary treatment before symptoms show themselves rather than living in ignorance.