Scottish care regulator the Care Inspectorate has published a guide to caring for people living with HIV.
People aged 50 and over now make up over a third of all those accessing HIV care in the UK, and this proportion will increase to more than half of people living with HIV by 2028.
HIV is a complex and not always well-understood condition. This can lead to poor care of people living with HIV, including discriminatory practices and behaviour which does not respect people’s rights or dignity.
The guide stresses that good care of people living with HIV is grounded in respect for rights and dignity, and that HIV does not pose a risk to care providers, their staff or other people receiving care in residential settings.
Examples of good and weak practice are set out in areas such as:
- HIV infection prevention and control and risk management
- Clinical care and support
- Managing medicines
- Psychological support
- Relationships and sexual health
- Protecting rights
- Continuous Improvement / Quality Management Systems
As an example of good practice in infection control, the guide advocates: Standard infection control precautions (SICPs) are in place, without additional practices for those known to be living with HIV (e.g. Single pair of gloves always worn when in contact with blood or body fluids).
Weak practice is demonstrated when people living with HIV are refused usual equipment access (e.g. shower bath, lounge chairs).