Article Text

Original article
Unlocking the potential: longitudinal audit finds multifaceted education for general practice increases HIV testing and diagnosis
  1. Timesh D Pillay1,
  2. Judith Mullineux2,
  3. Colette J Smith3,
  4. Philippa Matthews2,4
  1. 1University College London, Medical School, London, UK
  2. 2Sexual Health In Practice, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Research Department of Infection and Population Health, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4Killick Street Health Centre, Islington, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Timesh D Pillay, University College London, Medical School, Rockefeller Building, University Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK; t.pillay{at}


Background This longitudinal study aimed to evaluate the impact of a multifaceted educational intervention (Sexual Health in Practice, SHIP) on general practice HIV testing rates in a high prevalence London area.

Intervention SHIP offered training in sexual health clinical skills to general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) in Haringey. SHIP training aims to break down stigma in sexual health and provide sexual history and communication tools (e.g. differential diagnosis), and provides resources to practices (including condoms).

Design Numbers of GP HIV tests were collected from laboratories for 24 months prior, 19 months during and 5 months after training. Attendance data and practice list sizes were obtained.

Results 39 of 51 practices had at least one trained individual. These `trained' practices conducted an average 526 HIV tests p.a. before training began which rose to a projected 1556 p.a. (on the basis of the last 6 months of data). Testing rates of trained and untrained practices increased from 2.29 to 6.66 and 1.54 to 1.90 tests/1000 registered patients/year (p=0.0016 and p=0.5195) respectively. The rate of positive diagnosis was high in the trained group (18.0 and 16.7 positives/1000 tests before and after training began; p=0.7908). This equates to a rise from 9.5 to 22 new diagnoses p.a.

Conclusions The training intervention has been found to significantly increase general practice HIV testing rates in the absence of financial incentives. Positivity rates are substantially higher than that found in pilots of screening in London, suggesting that the training nurtured and supplemented complex clinical skills.

  • HIV Testing
  • Compex Interventions
  • Diagnosis
  • Education
  • Primary Care

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