BHIVA statement: funding for HIV testing

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Please find below the response from the British HIV Association (BHIVA) to today's BBC coverage of deficiencies in funding for HIV testing:

BHIVA Chair elect, Chloe Orkin, said: "Today's HIV treatments are very effective, but testing and early diagnosis are vital to prevent the many deaths that occur when the disease is picked up very late. This is especially important in high prevalence areas.

Despite this, 4 out of 10 people with HIV are still being diagnosed late, at a point where they are likely to have had the virus for more than three years. This has serious implications for their health and increases the risk of onward transmission as the person is unaware and not on treatment.

BHIVA guidelines are clear on the areas and specific hospitals where testing should be taking place, but - partly as a result of the Health and Social Care Bill - funding for testing remains patchy and testing is occurring in very few of the recommended hospitals.

It is crucial that testing is funded. We know that testing is highly cost-effective, and if it is not taking place, lives are at risk."

The BBC coverage can be found via the following links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07yqs9c/victoria-derbyshire-12102016 (coverage starts at around 1 hour 36 mins)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07x19h8

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37623727