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Clinical Standards

A primary object of the association is the development and promotion of good practice in the treatment of HIV and HIV related diseases. To achieve this BHIVA has produced clinical guidelines on various aspects of the treatment and management of HIV infection and associated co-morbidities and has developed a national audit programme to audit the implementation of the guidelines at HIV treatment centres through out the UK.

To ensure the implementation of good practice and to ensure good clinical outcomes well organised services are essential. HIV has become a complex chronic medical condition and an increasing number of people are living with HIV infection through out the UK. It is essential there is equitable access to high quality HIV treatment and care services for individuals with HIV infection irrespective of where they live in the UK. Thus to  compliment the BHIVA clinical guidelines the association also seeks  to produce focused and auditable standards that address key aspects of the organisation of NHS clinical care for adults with HIV infection.

Standards of care for people living with HIV in 2013 Standards of care for people living with HIV in 2013
In 2007 BHIVA, in collaboration with other interested organisations, developed the first set of standards for clinical care for adults with HIV infection in the NHS (BHIVA 2007). In the ensuing 5 years there have been significant changes in the field of HIV as well as in the commissioning and financial environment. Changes to the structure of the NHS mean that people living with HIV may access many different health services and organisations delivering health care.

The 2007 standards have therefore been reviewed and updated to ensure that they appropriately reflect the current health care needs of people with HIV and are relevant to all health services that may provide their care.

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Standards of care for people living with HIV in 2013 Standards for psychological support for adults living with HIV (2011)
Despite significant medical advances in HIV treatment, people living with HIV experience significantly higher rates of psychological difficulties than the general population. Psychological support improves both mental and physical health and reduces the risk of HIV transmission. Yet the availability and quality of psychological support for people living with HIV is currently variable.

These standards describe the support that all adults living with HIV should receive, from a wide range of professional groups, peers and informal providers, to enhance their mental health and their cognitive, emotional and behavioural wellbeing.

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Standards for HIV clinical care (2007) Standards for HIV clinical care (2007)
These standards were published in 2007 and were developed in partnership with the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV, the British Infection Society and the Royal College of Physicians, London. The standards described in the report are applicable to the care of all adults living with HIV in the UK.

The recommendations in the report are designed to reflect the level of care expected to be achieved through out the UK. The standards cover: commissioning, service networks and levels of care; clinical training, experience and commitment; records and information sharing; the patient pathway; implementation and audit.

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Primary and community care Primary and community care
As a chronic medical condition, the involvement of  primary and community care services  is  increasingly important in the clinical care of people living with HIV infection. In 2009 BHIVA produced a draft briefing paper entitled ‘extending the role of primary and community care in HIV’.

The paper went out for consultation in early 2009. BHIVA is currently working with the RCP and the RCGP and other stakeholders to further develop this work and a final report on standards in primary and community care is planned for 2010/2011.

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