HIV Infection: Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 15 May 2024.

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Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department is taking steps to identify people that have been diagnosed with HIV but are not accessing treatment.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

As part of the HIV Action Plan, we are committed to ensuring adequate support for those diagnosed and living with HIV. The most recent monitoring and evaluation report of the HIV Action Plan, published by the UK Health Security Agency, shows that in 2022, 76% of adults first diagnosed with HIV in England were linked to HIV care within two weeks, 87% within one month, and 93% within three months. This is an improvement compared to 2019.

NHS England’s specification for adult HIV services states that these services must have a policy describing how they aim to ensure retention in care, and re-engage those lost to care. A subgroup, Retention and Re-engagement in Care Task and Finish Group, of the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group (ISG) is providing advice on increasing the number of people retained and re-engaged in care and receiving effective medical care, which will be considered by the ISG in due course.

As part of the HIV Action Plan, the NHS England HIV opt-out testing programme in emergency departments has identified 384 people previously diagnosed with HIV but who disengaged from care in the first 21 months, providing opportunities to re-engage those individuals in care. Given its success, the Department has recently committed an additional £20 million for new research, which will involve an expansion and evaluation of the programme in 47 additional emergency departments in local areas with high HIV prevalence, across England.

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