|Abstract||The main objective of these guidelines is to reduce the number of undiagnosed HIV infections in patients visiting Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) Clinics. Allowing the opportunity for improvement in the health and well-being of individuals through access to medicines; improvement in the Public Health from the expected reduction in onward transmission; and patient empowerment in knowing their status.|
Recent estimates suggest that there are an estimated 58300 people living with an HIV infection in the UK, of whom 19700 remain undiagnosed. The National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV has set HIV testing targets for GUM services: to offer HIV testing to all GUM clinic attendees by the end of 2004 with a view to increasing the uptake to those offered it to 40% by the end of 2004 and to 60% by the end of 2007. By the end of 2007 it is hoped that the number of previously undiagnosed HIV positive people attending clinics is reduced by 50%.
These guidelines offer recommendations on:
• When to test for HIV
• How to test for HIV
• Pre-test discussion, informed consent and confidentiality
• Insurance issues
• Methods to increase the uptake of testing
• Methods of giving results
They should enable health care professionals, who are considering offering HIV testing to their patients, to obtain informed consent after providing appropriate information. It is aimed primarily at people aged 16 years or older (see specific guidelines for those under 16) presenting to health care professionals working in GUM departments within the United Kingdom. However, the recommendations should prove useful across similar settings, including general practice and general medicine.
The recommendations in this guideline may not be appropriate for use in all clinical situations. Decisions to follow these recommendations must be based on the professional judgement of the clinician, consideration of individual patient circumstances and available resources.