Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Random Check in One A&E Finds 32 Who Didn't Know They Had HIV

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Random Check in One A&E Finds 32 Who Didn't Know They Had HIV

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Health Editor

ONE of London's busiest A&E departments is to routinely screen patients for HIV after a pilot scheme found 32 people unknowingly carrying the virus. King's College hospital, in Denmark Hill, launched the 12-month initiative last year after receiving PS250,000 from the Elton John Aids Foundation to tackle late diagnoses.

A total of 24,037 adult patients who were undergoing blood tests had a sample analysed for HIV. The hospital's catchment area covers Lambeth and Southwark, which had the highest and third highest number of HIV cases in the country 288 and 114 last year.

About half of those who tested positive were considered "late diagnoses" and would have been at high risk of developing Aids. They were given antiretroviral medication, which can prevent onward transmission of HIV. Dr Killian Quinn, consultant in sexual health at the hospital, said: "With the sophisticated medicines now available, HIV is no longer a death sentence but a treatable condition. …

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