• Christina Antoniadi

BHIVA releases new Standards of Care for PLHIV

The British HIV Association released earlier this week the new Standards of Care for PLHIV, a revision of the standards released in 2006 and 2013. The standards include and recognise women in all age span covering adolescents, menopause, sexual and reproductive health. Even though they can only be enforced in the UK, the standards can become a great tool for future advocacy work everywhere in Europe. The standards are being released in a time where the public health system (NHS) and the sexual health services are facing grave cuts and very restrictive budgets.

The new update includes the following sections:

1. Testing, Diagnosis and Prevention

2. Person-centered care

3. HIV outpatient care and treatment

4. Complex HIV care

5. Sexual and Reproductive health

6. Psychological care

7. HIV across the life course

8. Developing and maintaining excellent care

Each one presents a rationale, quality statements and measurable and auditable outcomes. Three new sections have been introduced looking at HIV prevention, stigma and well-being, and HIV across the life course - young adults and adolescents, young to middle adulthood, older age and palliative care.

BHIVA Standards Co-Chair, Ann Sullivan emphasises the contribution made by people living with HIV to the Standards: “Patients have had a key role in every stage of the development and production of these Standards: proposing the new areas to be covered; being actively involved in all writing groups; responding to the public consultation and recommending, volunteering for and organising the real representation seen in the Standards’ imagery. We hope that these Standards will deliver improved outcomes for people living with HIV in the areas that are important to them.”

BHIVA Chair, Chloe Orkin comments: “We hope that these new Standards will provide a framework to inform and support commissioning decisions both within and outside the NHS. In addition to targeting all healthcare professionals, they are also there to inform people living with HIV, and those who advocate for them, about the care they should expect to receive when they access HIV services.

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