Sussex NHS raising awareness for HIV treatment
25 January 2019

Sussex NHS event to raise awareness for HIV

HIV specialists held an event in January to raise awareness among clinicians of HIV and Co-infections in the UK.

The aim was to raise awareness and promote early diagnosis. GPs, nurses and therapists from various specialisms came together to at the Arora Hotel in Crawley for a day of presentations and study.

Recent statistics estimate that there were 101,600 people living with HIV in the UK in 2017. Of these, around 7,800 are undiagnosed, so are unaware that they are HIV positive.

The day of presentations and group learning was kicked off with a presentation from Dr Noshi Narouz (Consultant Physician in GU /HIV Medicine, Crawley Hospital) who highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and the effectiveness of the antiretroviral.

Dr Gayatri Chakrabarty (Consultant Gastroenterologist, East Surrey Hospital) gave an overview of Hepatitis B and C, speaking on the recent development in Hepatitis C treatments and future therapies.

Dave Moore (Lead HIV Pharmacist, Western Sussex Hospital Trust) spoke about treatment and adherence and the success in treatment which has led to the Undetectable=Untransmutable or U=U campaign, which means that a person living with HIV who has undetectable viral load cannot pass on the virus.

There were also talks from Dr Sarah Shotton (Lead TV Consultant, Easy surrey Hospital) who spoke about diagnosing and treating Tuberculosis (TB) epidemiology, TB & HIV and screening HIV patients for Latent TB infection.

The day was rounded off with Carl Churchman, a positive speaker from the Terrence Higgins Trust who spoke about his life experience, his reaction to his initial diagnosis and how he is now using his experience to educate and support other people. He and his team go into schools, nursing homes and GPs giving education on HIV.

Busi Mutambara, HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist at Sussex Community, said:

“The day was a great success and all attendees gave positive feedback. This proved not to be only a training day but a day that changed practices. The feedback demonstrated that they are going take sexual health seriously and do HIV testing more frequently. The aim of the day was to give information and promote HIV testing thereby preventing late diagnosis.”

The team are looking forward to holding more events in the future of a similar nature following on from positive feedback from all who attended.

About the Community Specialist HIV Team

The Community HIV Specialist team offers support and guidance to adults living with HIV and carries out crucial work in the community.

The Service provides free, confidential advice and support to people who are HIV positive and has three nurse-led teams covering Brighton and Hove and West Sussex. Each team offers HIV clinical nurse specialists, a mental health nurse, access to a health trainer and other support workers.

Find out more