Background/introduction Mirroring national data, HIV testing in our local board is failing to reduce the high proportion of late diagnoses. Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) HIV standards 2011 recommended the development and promotion of a written HIV testing policy. A local HIV testing policy was introduced in 2013 based on the UK National testing guideline (BHIVA), recommending routine testing in certain clinical areas, in high risk groups and all individuals with “clinical indicator conditions” regardless of perceived risk. The introduction of the policy was supported by staff training.
Aim(s)/objectives Review the impact of a HIV testing policy on staff knowledge and levels of HIV testing.
Methods In November 2015 a survey was undertaken to question staff awareness of the policy, understanding of HIV testing and levels of HIV testing. The survey was advertised on local websites to healthcare, social work, third sector and substance misuse staff.
Results The survey had 120 respondents, with the largest proportion from Consultant and GP staff. Over 70% of respondents were aware of the policy. 25% reported that the policy had changed their clinical practice by increasing their confidence in testing. There has been a corresponding increase in HIV testing figures. Interestingly over 70% responded that a detailed HIV risk assessment was required even in the presence of a clinical indicator condition.
Discussion/conclusion The survey has demonstrated that the HIV testing policy has increased staff awareness and confidence in HIV testing. Late diagnosis rates continue to be monitored and misconceptions regarding HIV testing challenged.
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