Secretary of State for Health and Social Care visits King’s

Stephen Barclay MP visited the Trust on Thursday 1 December 2022

Stephen Barclay MP visits King's

To mark World AIDS Day on Thursday 1 December 2022, King’s College Hospital welcomed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Stephen Barclay MP.

During his tour of the hospital, Stephen Barclay MP met with staff members in emergency medicine, sexual health and virology, who are working together to diagnose and support patients living with HIV. He also met with Professor Clive Kay, Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to discuss how the Trust is helping identify patients with HIV more quickly.

More than 1,600 people were living with undiagnosed HIV in London in 2020, around a third of the total estimated number of people in the UK living with undiagnosed HIV. Tragically, aound 42% of HIV diagnoses in the UK are made late, at a point when the immune system has already been significantly damaged.

Since 2016, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has offered opt-out HIV testing in its Emergency Department to help reduce the incidence of late HIV diagnosis, encourage those who test positive to receive treatment, and reduce onward transmission of the virus.

Patients attending the Emergency Department who require a blood test as part of their diagnostic care are automatically tested for HIV unless they specify otherwise. Those who test positive are referred to the dedicated HIV team for support and treatment.

Since HIV opt-out testing became routine in the Emergency Department at King’s College Hospital, the Trust has diagnosed over 150 people living with HIV who were unaware they had the condition.

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