Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home > About us > News and events > Our consultant highlights success of HIV opt-out testing in A&E, which will be rolled out across London

Our consultant highlights success of HIV opt-out testing in A&E, which will be rolled out across London

26 August 2022

For some time, our Trust’s A&Es have been routinely screening patients who need a blood test for HIV, unless they decide to opt out. After successful pilots, the scheme will be rolled out to all Emergency Departments in London.

Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine Dr Ann Sullivan was interviewed by Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London on Thursday 25 August 2022, discussing the London-wide rollout of this scheme, and highlighting its success at our Trust. 

Any of our patients in A&E who need a blood test now have to opt out of being tested for HIV, resulting in new cases of HIV being detected that could otherwise have been missed. This means that patients can get the treatment they need, which improves health outcomes. 

At West Middlesex University Hospital, 66% of new HIV diagnoses within the last year have come from testing in the Emergency Department. 

The BBC London Radio segment featured a case study from Oliver, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, who discovered he was living with HIV after attending Chelsea and Westminster Hospital's A&E after a cycling accident. He said that the test changed his life, and that if our Trust had not offered opt-out testing, he may still be unaware of his status. Oliver said: “Routine HIV opt-out testing in A&E departments saves lives, it saved mine and stopped me passing on the virus to others.”

Congratulations to the many Trust staff who have supported the rollout of this important initiative.