Routine check finds 32 people who did not know they had HIV
One of London’s busiest A&E departments is to routinely screen patients for HIV after a pilot scheme found 32 people unknowingly carrying the virus.
King’s College hospital, in Denmark Hill, launched the 12-month initiative last year after receiving £250,000 from the Elton John Aids Foundation to tackle late diagnoses.
A total of 24,037 adult patients who were undergoing blood tests had a sample analysed for HIV. The hospital’s catchment area covers Lambeth and Southwark, which had the highest and third highest number of HIV cases in the country — 288 and 114 — last year.
About half of those who tested positive were considered “late diagnoses” and would have been at high risk of developing Aids. They were given anti-retroviral medication, which can prevent onward transmission of HIV.