Background/introduction Individuals with HIV report experiencing stigma and discrimination. Outcome 5 of the Scottish Government Sexual Health and BBV Strategy (2011–15) aims to address this issue. Locally a system was established to record and collate events on a ‘third party’ basis, which revealed that most incidents occurred within NHS services.
Aim(s)/objectives In collaboration with the HIV Patient Forum, we examined HIV stigma among NHSGGC staff by:
Assessing knowledge of HIV
Measuring HIV attitudes and beliefs
Capturing staff experiences of HIV stigma
Based on the findings, we are developing an appropriate staff CPD programme.
Methods Between 8–23 July 2013, an anonymous self-complete questionnaire was sent to all 38,000 NHSGGC employees. This was circulated by email from the Director of Public Health with reminders issued via internal staff bulletins.
Results A 10% completion rate was achieved (n = 3,971 responses). Staff
had variable knowledge of HIV which was much poorer in relation to treatment advances and routes of transmission.
held mixed attitudes with less favourable attitudes correlated to poor knowledge
reported practice which could be perceived as discriminating against patients
expressed a strong desire for greater knowledge and access to training
Discussion/conclusion This survey from the largest UK NHS employer provides evidence that poor knowledge and attitudes are based on outdated information and assumptions which in turn leads to poor patient experiences. This has provided a platform to develop pro-active anti-stigma approaches ranging from a staff-facing campaign, refreshed HIV training and development of a patient empowerment toolkit.