OHL and The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) have worked with Lewisham GPs to improve HIV care in Lewisham in the last year.
HIV testing increased in the Lewisham GP practices, which were delivering the OHL project, by more than 70%, resulting in:
- The identification of 9 new HIV diagnoses
- 7 re-engagements of patients with HIV back into secondary HIV care.
- 67% of new diagnoses were late presentations. Had these individuals not been picked up by their GPs they would have likely been admitted to hospital.
- 73% of all patients identified themselves as heterosexual, and 27% identified themselves as MSM (men who have sex with men).
- 27% of patients were younger than 34 years old, 36% were between ages of 35-49, and 36% were above the age of 50
- All of the above patients are now on HIV treatment, which will improve life expectancy, reduce chances of becoming unwell, and prevent onward HIV transmission.
Note especially that most patients would not have been identified without routine HIV testing:
Thanks to this success, EJAF is going to continue to provide support for OHL and Lewisham GPs with this important work for another year:
- We will continue to keep routinely testing for HIV.
- We strive to pick up more patients who do not identify as ‘at risk’.
- We will encourage re-engagement of those patients who are not on treatment.
- We will help reduce stigma by spreading the message of U=U (Undetectable = Untrasmittable). – If a patient is on treatment for more than 6 months and taking it properly, and if their viral load is undetectable, they will not transmit HIV to others. More information on U=U can be found here.