Next review date: This guideline is being updated by the NICE guideline on increasing the uptake of HIV testing among people at higher risk of exposure

The focus of this guidance is on increasing the uptake of HIV testing to reduce undiagnosed infection and prevent transmission.

The recommendations include advice on:

  • community engagement and involvement
  • planning services, including assessing local need,  developing a strategy and commissioning services in areas of identified need
  • promoting HIV testing and reducing barriers to testing among black African communities
  • offering and recommending an HIV test
  • HIV referral pathways

This guideline was previously called increasing the uptake of HIV testing among black Africans in England.

It is for NHS and other commissioners, managers and practitioners who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for, increasing the uptake of HIV testing among black African communities. This includes those working in local authorities and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors. It will also be of interest to members of the public, in particular black Africans living in England.

It is one of two pieces of NICE guidance published in March 2011 on how to increase the uptake of HIV testing. A second publication covers HIV testing among men who have sex with men.

The two pieces of guidance (PH33 and PH34) will be refreshed and combined into one piece of guidance through a partial update. The partial update will combine the recommendations in PH33 and PH34 into generic recommendations and, where appropriate, specific recommendations for high risk population groups. Additionally it will consider potential changes to indicator conditions and home testing and sampling.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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