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GP training ‘doubles HIV detection rates’

A GP training programme can double the number of HIV cases detected in primary care, say UK researchers.

Their Sexual Health in Practice education intervention offered 51 Haringey GP practices training consisting of two afternoon sessions – one addressing clinical and communication skills and the other focusing on HIV.

Trained practices – that is practices with at least one member of staff who completed the full education programme – found that diagnoses of HIV increased from 19 in the two years before training to 39 two years post-training.

The testing rate improved significantly in trained practices from 2.29 tests per 1,000 patients per year in the 24 month period before training to 6.66 tests per 1,000 patients per year in the six months after training started.

By comparison untrained practices went from 1.54 tests to 1.90 tests, a non-significant increase.

The researchers from University College London, concluded: ‘These findings support the conclusion that SHIP, as an educational intervention, led to changes in clinical practice and behaviour.’

Sexually Transmitted Infections 2012, online 8 October

http://sti.bmj.com/content/early/2012/10/07/sextrans-2012-050655.long

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