This guide is a practical resource for HCPs and unPLHIV to better identify latent or clinical HIV, to increase early HIV testing, to reduce late presentation and thereby avoid unnecessary illness and death. ‘Could this be HIV?’ provides an instant recognition alert, focused on raising awareness of the clinical presentations of HIV which are so often missed in primary and secondary care settings.
The rise in incidence and prevalence of HIV continues at differing rates across Europe and the rest of the world. The availability of effective therapy for HIV has increased the need for diagnosing this infection early, both to reduce clinical disease but also to prevent onward transmission of the infection. The undiagnosed rate across Europe is stubbornly set at around 30% and it may be higher in many of the settings in which JUSTRI works. Those who have the greatest ability to diagnose HIV early are often the least motivated to do so, due to a combined lack of familiarity with the clinical presentations and as well as an unwillingness to broach the subject of HIV with patients, even when they exhibit signs of illness. Through the JUSTRI network we have assessed the enthusiasm for those involved in and HIV services to examine how best to provide support for improved HIV diagnosis in a diversity of settings and have been often asked to provide guidance on such matters, we hope this resource will further these discussions and support those who are currently not diagnosing HIV as frequently as they could do.
This HIV testing resource is useful for all HCPs and unPLHIV to:
Increase awareness for the need to test for HIV,
Act as a simple reminder to think about HIV as a possible diagnosis
Provide a visual and text vade mecum for common HIV-related presentations and indicator conditions
Prompt discussion regarding HIV in both HCPs and unPLHIV
Improve non-HIV specialist and unPLHIV engagement in HIV testing