In National HIV Testing Week which runs from 23 to 30 November, Bruce Keogh is encouraging all doctors, including GPs, to be alert to the need to offer and recommend an HIV test to their patients, especially those presenting with a possible clinical symptom linked to HIV, or if they are from a group at increased risk.
The HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, is running the week as part of its national contract with the Department of Health for targeted HIV prevention in England. During the week, the Terrence Higgins Trust will be promoting the importance of HIV testing for gay and bisexual men and African communities, the groups most affected by HIV in the UK.
The campaign responds to the fact that too many HIV infections are diagnosed after the point at which treatment is recommended and it supports the Department’s policy to reduce undiagnosed HIV infection. Testing and early diagnosis of HIV infection mean that people infected can get access to effective treatment and prevent onward transmission of HIV.
There are links to information resources aimed at supporting clinicians in primary and secondary care to increase HIV testing in the attached letter.