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Home Publications Infectious diseases HIV and sexually transmitted infections ›  Time to test for HIV: Expanded healthcare and community HIV testing in England

Time to test for HIV: Expanded healthcare and community HIV testing in England

Time to test for HIV cover


Health Protection Agency

Publication date: December 2010



Key findings

  • Eight projects, in hospitals (3), primary care (2) and community settings (3), were funded by the Department of Health. All except one were in high prevalence areas (where diagnosed prevalence greater than 2/1000 15-59 year olds).
  • Projects ran for periods of 3-12 months between 2009 and 2010 and resulted in more than 10,000 diagnostic HIV tests being performed, with the largest number being in healthcare settings.
  • A total of 50 HIV-infected persons were newly diagnosed, giving an overall positivity of five per 1,000 tests across the projects. The highest positivities were reported in community based projects. Among the eight projects, all but three initiatives found positivities of greater than one per thousand tests; the cost-effective threshold for expanded HIV testing programmes in the United States of America.
  • The routine offer and recommendation of HIV testing in primary care and hospital settings was feasible and acceptable to both staff and patients.
  • Community based pilots demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of establishing HIV testing services in these settings and illustrated the importance of community involvement in setting up these services.
  • These pilot projects were successful in diagnosing individuals with previously undiagnosed HIV infection.


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Additional information

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Last reviewed: 30 November 2010