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London hospital says it will continue to offer HIV tests to all accident and emergency patients after trial

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3705 (Published 13 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3705
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

A London hospital has begun offering bloodless HIV tests to every adult patient attending its accident and emergency department, in a bid to curb onward transmission of the infection in the capital, where rates are among the highest in the United Kingdom.

Figures from the Health Protection Agency, published at the end of last year, indicate that a quarter (26%) of the estimated 86 500 people infected with HIV in the UK are unaware that they are infected. By 2012 the number of diagnosed and undiagnosed cases in the UK is expected to reach 100 000.

Since the end of January Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been routinely offering an HIV test to emergency care patients aged between 16 and 67 who are able to be tested. HIV tests are normally routinely offered in the NHS only to pregnant women …

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