Background The overall HIV prevalence in East Midland is low and since 2000 most of the new cases in our region continue to be diagnosed in the same three Primary Care Trusts, peaking in the 35–39-year-old adults in 2009/2010. HIV uptake rates vary from 69% to 80% and high coverage remains a possibility as demonstrated by 96% antenatal uptake rates.
Objective To collect information from hospital and community based staff about HIV testing, to develop effective regional strategies.
Methods A 10 min online Questionnaire was completed by staff members via Survey Monkey this included gender, age, time since qualification, experience of HIV test use, training issues etc.
Results 1067 responses have been analysed, >75% of respondents being female, representing a wide range of specialties including general practice. 21%, 28%, 28%, 22% are aged between 20–30 years, 30–40 years, 40–50 years and >50 years respectively. 25.5%, 21%, 25%, 29% of the respondents were qualified <5 years, 5–10 years, 10–20 years, more than 20 years respectively. 46.8% had no prior experience of offering an HIV test. 39.9% felt they had the necessary skills a similar proportion 39.5% felt they lacked them. 21.8% of the respondents would have concerns offering a test. While the majority 81.6% agreed with NICE guidance on expanded testing 57.7% would require further training, 50.2% saying they would be unable to answer patients questions on HIV testing. 85.1% agreed that HIV updates need to be incorporated in induction provided to health care professionals with 45.9% stating that current methods were not adequate.
Conclusions The survey highlights that while health care professionals are aware of the need to have a HIV test nearly half of them have never offered one and a large proportion have identified anxieties around consultation. Inadequate training was cited as a major factor for not considering or offering a test.
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