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Contract could stop HIV services

The new contract could undermine efforts to stop the spread of HIV. In a report on the spread of the virus in the capital, the London Assembly said it was concerned that PCTs will not commission some sexual health services from GPs, even though they are often best placed to help patients with HIV.

The Assembly warned of increasing apathy about the disease, rising numbers of HIV diagnoses and drug resistant strains of the virus.

The report concluded: 'At one hearing, it was reported primary care has been involved in the treatment and care of sexually transmitted infections in different ways, but that the new GP contract might constitute a barrier to future involvement. There is anxiety that PCTs will not be obliged to buy these services at local levels so that even where practices are willing to provide sexual health care they may not be funded to do it.'

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