Some clinical circumstances should trigger an offer of an HIV test as a matter of routine, for example as part of antenatal care.
In high prevalence areas, there is a good case for even more extensive testing, including strategies for population screening.
Kalyna, 26 - a patient's view
I came to London from the Ukraine just under a year ago, and quite quickly found work in a bar. I needed to sort out contraception, so I registered with a doctor. When I first visited the practice I was seen by a nursing assistant and had my blood pressure checked and so on. To my surprise the assistant then offered me an HIV test – she explained they were being offered to all new patients. She explained that HIV was very treatable and that was why they wanted people to get the finger prick test.
I agreed and I think we were both fairly shocked with the positive result. She very quickly arranged for me to meet a nurse in a local clinic to have another test to double check – they found I was indeed infected. Things have been a bit of a whirlwind since then. I think an old boyfriend of mine in the Ukraine had used drugs before I knew him – I am trying to track him down so I can be sure he gets a test. This will not be an easy conversation, but I have had good advice from my clinic.
My immunity is good so apparently I don’t need treatment yet – I can see now that it is good that the infection was detected early, whatever my regrets.
[translated from Ukrainian; not her real name].