Introduction Effective antiretroviral therapy has reduced HIV inpatient admissions and patients are increasingly admitted with non-HIV related pathologies. Increasing pressure on NHS hospitals emphasise the need to minimise admissions, maintain patient flow and understand how inpatient facilities are used. We aim to review the demographics and causes of acute medical admissions to a single HIV-specialist unit.
Methods Retrospective analysis of patients admitted under the HIV team at a single referral centre including demographics, reason for admission, length of stay and discharge destination.
Results 114 patients admitted in 2016. Median age 46 years (range 18–79). 86% male. 14/114 (12%) were newly diagnosed with HIV. 24/114 (21%) admitted with HIV-associated illness, 16/114 (14%) with AIDS-defining illness, 59/114 (52%) with non-HIV associated illness. Respiratory infections were the commonest cause of admissions with 14/114 (12%) cases of PCP and 27/114 (24%) of lower respiratory tract infections. 16/114 (14%) admissions were secondary to drugs and alcohol. Median length of stay 7 days (range 1–135). Discharge destination was home 89/114 (78%), a bespoke HIV-intermediate care facility 19/114 (17%), other healthcare facility 3/114 (3%) and 3/114 patients (3%) died.
Discussion Inpatients were younger and had a much longer length of stay when compared with the average for acute internal medicine. Majority of admissions were for non-HIV associated illness suggesting adequate viral suppression for most patients. Service adaptations are needed to address the high incidence of mental health disorders, importantly drug/alcohol addiction. We also highlight the importance of a HIV-intermediate care unit to aid rehabilitation and facilitate discharges.
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