There has been a rise in new HIV infections in the drug injecting population in Glasgow. On average there are 115 new cases of HIV a year in NHSGGC, the majority of which are sexually transmitted. Transmission amongst people who inject drugs (PWID) has been low and stable since the beginning of the 1990s, with less than 10 new cases a year. However, in 2015 we saw a very steep increase in new cases of HIV in PWID, to 48. Transmission is on-going with 30 cases reported in 2016 and 32 cases so far in 2017.
It is important that staff and services who work with people who inject drugs:
1. Refresh the key facts about HIV
2. Understand Key HIV prevention messages:
3. Encourage HIV testing
It is recommend that clinical colleagues in primary and secondary care offer an HIV test to all patients with a history of drug addiction, particularly injecting drug use, when they present for health care in these settings. As there is significant overlap in the routes of acquiring HIV, HCV and HBV, it may be beneficial to test for all three infections if the patient’s status is not already known.
Staff who require further advice, information or support around HIV/BBV testing or related patient issues should contact the Sandyford STI Shared Care Support Service on 0141 211 8639.
4. Support patients to attend specialist treatment and care services, assisting those who are not currently attending to re-engage and to re-refer them if required. An outreach HIV treatment service operates form the Homeless Addiction Team at Hunter Street
5. Inform yourself with up-to-date facts. In partnership with Scottish Drugs Forum a staff resource website has been developed and a HIV - What Staff Need to Know booklet can be downloaded. If you would like further training on HIV or other BBVs please contact the BBV Training Team