HIV testing to be offered to all medical patients
Manchester Royal Infirmary, part of Central Manchester
University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, have started a new
initiative to identify patients who are undiagnosed as HIV
Positive. From Monday 6th June, all patients
admitted to the Medical Assessment Unit will now be asked for their
permission to be tested for HIV. When a patient is admitted,
they have routine blood tests performed that test a range of things
from kidney function to blood group. Now, if they give their
permission, they will also be tested for HIV.
In Manchester, 4.47 people in every 1,000 are HIV
positive. With such a high prevalence rate - and the fact
that many people deem themselves low risk - the hope is that by
offering it to all medical patients we will be able to diagnose
those patients that would not necessarily think to request a HIV
Dr Darren Cousins, the specialist registrar who is leading the
implementation said: "By making the test as normal as possible
alongside other medical investigations, what we're trying to do is
reduce the stigma overall.
"We are not choosing particular groups over other groups and
we're saying it's a general good health measure to actually have an
He added: "HIV is a disease where if you pick it up early then
you don't need to die from it. If we pick it up early then we
can offer people treatment and make sure that their life expectancy
is the same as it would be if they were HIV negative."
The Chief Medical Officer wrote to all NHS trusts in 2008 to
recommend that all patients are offered the test.
- Each test will cost under £1.00 and results take 48 hours.
- The Medical Assessment Unit treats approximately 1000 patients
- We will eventually aim to test all patients coming into the
hospital, including surgical patients.