We are the only Trust in the south west that is currently offering opt-HIV testing for our patients, in line with the Government’s HIV Action Plan to eliminate HIV by 2030.
Our sexual health team offered around 13,000 HIV tests in the last year to people across the Swindon community.
They’ve also been supporting staff to provide the test to patients spending time in hospital, through a new testing programme that was launched at the end of 2022.
In the last year, there have been 18 new HIV diagnoses in Swindon compared to an average of 12 in previous years, with the hospital testing making a big difference in identifying patients living with HIV.
Dr Jessica Daniel, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV, said: “Diagnosing HIV early on means we can start treatment straight away, which enables an individual with the virus to live a long and healthy life.
“In fact, most people who get an early diagnosis and effective treatments will not develop any HIV-related illnesses, and will have a normal life expectancy.
“Patients on effective anti-retroviral therapy, who have an undetectable level of virus in the blood, are not infectious and cannot pass HIV on.
“It’s really important that local people get tested for HIV, even if you don’t think you could have contracted the virus. Knowing your HIV status can be life-saving.
“I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to offer even more people treatment for HIV, through our proactive testing programme that spans Great Western Hospital and the wider Swindon community.”