Over at GP Online, Dr Iain Reeves and Dr Richard Ma discuss the importance of HIV testing for black Africans:
Undiagnosed HIV remains an important problem in the UK. Those who are unaware of their infection cannot access life-prolonging treatment and face a much greater risk of mortality and morbidity because of late diagnosis.
In 2012, about two-thirds of black African adults were diagnosed with a CD4 count <350, where treatment is recommended, compared with 47% overall.1
In its recent report, HIV and Black African Communities in the UK, the National AIDS Trust has called for urgent action to address this health inequality.#
There appears to be plenty of opportunities for more HIV testing to be carried out in general practice.
For example, there is evidence to suggest that black Africans attend general practice, especially those who have had undiagnosed HIV.
Opt-out testing for HIV was also broadly acceptable to a sample of patients in one study which included MSM and black Africans.
Our Medical Director, Dr Steve Taylor, agrees: “It’s so important that we enhance the provision of HIV testing, especially amongst those groups identified as a priority. Greater awareness really can lead to higher rates of diagnosis.”
The article is excellent for patients and medics alike. You can read the full piece here.