There has been an increase in HIV and other blood-borne viruses detected at Northwick Park Hospital.
A decision to offer a test for HIV and Hepatitis B and C to any patient attending Ealing and Northwick Park Hospital emergency departments has led to a noticeable increase in positive diagnoses, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust has confirmed.
The pan-London project is part of the Government’s HIV Action Plan to end new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. In total, twelve people tested were unaware they had HIV, while 230 were unaware of their Hepatitis C status, and 223 of their Hepatitis B status, as a result, everyone has been offered treatment.
The emergency departments, including Northwick Park’s in Harrow, have carried out more than 30,000 tests since the project started in May 2022 and are among the highest-performing trusts for testing blood-borne viruses in the capital.
Dr John McSorley, Clinical Lead for Sexual Health and HIV Services, at LNWH, said: “I am proud of the amazing work my colleagues in the A&E, Infectious Diseases and Hepatology teams do because they change lives every day.
“These viruses are treatable but it remains a life-changing moment for those affected when they are diagnosed. However, it is also the first step towards treatment which is life-affirming for those living with HIV or Hepatitis B, and for those with Hepatitis C, the first step to treatment and cure”.
Dr Lauren Fraser, an emergency medicine consultant, added: “Within weeks of the screening programme being launched we were told that patients were being diagnosed that would never have been otherwise.”