Letters

GP facilitators and HIV infection: Heterosexual infection less common than other routes

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6927.538a (Published 19 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:538
  1. B Davis

    EDITOR, - Peter Saunders rightly draws attention to the fact that an increasing proportion of newly diagnosed HIV infections in Britain is attributable to heterosexual intercourse; his statement that this is now the commonest mode of spread in Scotland merits comment.1 Since 1985 the Communicable Diseases (Scotland) Unit has maintained a register, based on laboratory reporting, of all people known to be infected with HIV in Scotland. As it is based on voluntary testing this register cannot be seen as an indication of incidence or prevalence, but it remains the most reliable source of data on HIV infection in Scotland and is used in resource allocation under the AIDS (Control) Act and in official predictions of the course of the HIV epidemic.

    The table shows the distribution of newly diagnosed HIV infections by probable category of transmission and by year of specimen (since 1985) according to the Scottish HIV register.

    View this table:

    Distribution of newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection in Scotland by category of transmission. Values are numbers (percentages) of cases

    Overall, the decreasing predominance of injecting drug use as a category of transmission and the increasing predominance of heterosexual transmission are clearly apparent, but in only one year (1992) has heterosexual intercourse been the commonest mode of spread. In 1993 sexual intercourse between men accounted for the highest proportion of cases, followed by injecting drug use.

    References

    Shared care better for GPs and specialists

    1. L Grun,
    2. E Murray

      EDITOR, - We agree with Peter Saunders about the importance of general practitioners providing more of the care for HIV positive patients,1 but facilitators are not the only means of achieving this. The departments of primary health care and genitourinary medicine at University College London Medical School have collaborated in setting up a formal shared care protocol …

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