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HIV testing and prevention

About

What is covered

This pathway covers how to prevent the spread of HIV by increasing the uptake of HIV testing in primary and secondary care, specialist sexual health services and the community. It describes how to plan and deliver services that are tailored to the local prevalence of HIV, how to promote awareness of HIV testing and how to increase opportunities to offer testing to people who may have undiagnosed HIV.
It includes recommendations on:
  • offering and recommending HIV testing in different settings
  • increasing opportunities for HIV testing
  • promoting awareness and uptake of HIV testing
  • reducing barriers to HIV testing.

Who is it for?

  • Local authority and NHS commissioners of HIV testing services
  • Providers of HIV testing services
  • Practitioners working in services that offer HIV testing
  • The general public
This pathway is based on NICE guideline NG60 (2016), which updates and replaces NICE guidelines PH33 and PH34 (2011). NICE worked with Public Health England to develop NG60.

Updates

Updates to this pathway

30 November 2016 Pathway updated with recommendations from HIV testing: increasing uptake among people who may have undiagnosed HIV (NICE guideline NG60).

Professional responsibilities

The recommendations in this pathway represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take these recommendations fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. Applying the recommendations in this pathway is at the discretion of health and care professionals and their individual patients or service users and does not override the responsibility of health and care professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and/or their carer or guardian.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the recommendations to be applied (and to provide funding required for technology appraisal guidance) when individual health and care professionals and their patients or service users wish to use them. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this pathway should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Person-centred care

People have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care, as described in your care.
Making decisions using NICE guidelines explains how we use words to show the strength (or certainty) of our recommendations, and has information about prescribing medicines (including off label use), professional guidelines, standards and laws (including on consent and mental capacity), and safeguarding.

Short Text

Everything NICE has said on HIV testing and prevention in an interactive flowchart

What is covered

This pathway covers how to prevent the spread of HIV by increasing the uptake of HIV testing in primary and secondary care, specialist sexual health services and the community. It describes how to plan and deliver services that are tailored to the local prevalence of HIV, how to promote awareness of HIV testing and how to increase opportunities to offer testing to people who may have undiagnosed HIV.
It includes recommendations on:
  • offering and recommending HIV testing in different settings
  • increasing opportunities for HIV testing
  • promoting awareness and uptake of HIV testing
  • reducing barriers to HIV testing.

Who is it for?

  • Local authority and NHS commissioners of HIV testing services
  • Providers of HIV testing services
  • Practitioners working in services that offer HIV testing
  • The general public
This pathway is based on NICE guideline NG60 (2016), which updates and replaces NICE guidelines PH33 and PH34 (2011). NICE worked with Public Health England to develop NG60.

Updates

Updates to this pathway

30 November 2016 Pathway updated with recommendations from HIV testing: increasing uptake among people who may have undiagnosed HIV (NICE guideline NG60).

Sources

NICE guidance and other sources used to create this pathway.

Quality standards

Quality statements

Effective interventions library

Effective interventions library

Successful effective interventions library details

Implementation

NICE has produced resources to help implement its guidance on:

Pathway information

Professional responsibilities

The recommendations in this pathway represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take these recommendations fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. Applying the recommendations in this pathway is at the discretion of health and care professionals and their individual patients or service users and does not override the responsibility of health and care professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and/or their carer or guardian.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the recommendations to be applied (and to provide funding required for technology appraisal guidance) when individual health and care professionals and their patients or service users wish to use them. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this pathway should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Person-centred care

People have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care, as described in your care.
Making decisions using NICE guidelines explains how we use words to show the strength (or certainty) of our recommendations, and has information about prescribing medicines (including off label use), professional guidelines, standards and laws (including on consent and mental capacity), and safeguarding.

Supporting information

Glossary

commonly used to describe sex between men that occurs under the influence of drugs taken immediately before and/or during the sexual session; the drugs most commonly associated with chemsex are crystal methamphetamine, GHB/GBL, mephedrone and, to a lesser extent, cocaine and ketamine
local authorities with a diagnosed HIV prevalence of 5 or more per 1,000 people aged 15 to 59 years (based on modelling of diagnosed HIV prevalence distribution in local authorities in England; see Public Health England's sexual and reproductive health profiles)
detect HIV antibodies and p24 antigen simultaneously; this means they have the advantage of reducing the time between infection and testing HIV positive to about 1 month
local authorities with a diagnosed HIV prevalence of between 2 and 5 per 1,000 (people aged 15–59 years), based on modelling of diagnosed HIV prevalence distribution in local authorities in England; see Public Health England's sexual and reproductive health profiles)
local authorities with a diagnosed HIV prevalence of between 2 and 5 per 1,000 (people aged 15–59 years), based on modelling of diagnosed HIV prevalence distribution in local authorities in England; see Public Health England's sexual and reproductive health profiles)
non-clinical practitioners who have been trained to carry out HIV tests
point-of-care tests or 'rapid' tests are a common way to test for HIV; they are easy to use when an alternative to venepuncture is preferable, for example outside conventional healthcare settings and where it's important to avoid a delay in obtaining a result. However, they have reduced specificity and sensitivity compared with fourth generation laboratory tests; this means there will be false positives, particularly in areas with lower HIV prevalence, and all positive results need to be confirmed by serological tests
public areas where people go to engage in consensual sexual contact (both same sex and opposite sex)
self-sampling HIV kits allow people to collect their own sample of blood or saliva and send it by post for testing; they usually receive negative results by text message
self-testing kits allow people to perform their own HIV test in a place of their own choosing and get an immediate result (typically within 15–20 minutes)
the time between potential exposure to HIV infection and when a test will give an accurate result; the window period is 1 month for a fourth generation test and 3 months for older tests

Paths in this pathway

Pathway created: August 2011 Last updated: November 2016

© NICE 2016

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