Intended for healthcare professionals


Guidelines call for HIV testing to be “normalised”

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 24 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1796
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    All healthcare professionals should view HIV testing as a normal part of the diagnostic process and a duty of care, says guidance published and disseminated by the Department of Health.

    A booklet on HIV testing, produced by the Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health, challenges the commonly held assumption that pre-test counselling must be lengthy and should only be carried out by specially trained counsellors.

    More testing may help to diagnose the many people with HIV who are unaware that they are infected, the guidance says.

    The booklet has been released alongside the new UK National Guidelines for HIV Testing 2008 produced by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, the British HIV Association, and the British Infection Society.

    “Over the past 25 years HIV has been seen as a condition that needs special skills when offering testing but this is not the case,” says Rachel Baggaley, author of the booklet. “We need to …

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