HIV Scotland in Parliament - June 2017

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Tuesday 13th June 2017

MSPs call for BBV testing in all prisons

The Health and Sport Committee has published a report on healthcare in prisons following a short inquiry. HIV Scotland in partnership with Hepatitis Scotland and the Scottish Drugs Forum, submitted joint evidence to the Committee. People in prison remain a population at increased risk of HIV in Scotland. Our submission noted that blood borne virus testing is inconsistent and poorly managed overall in prisons, despite a commitment for opt-out testing for all new prisoners being included within Scottish Government’s Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework. We also highlighted that access to condoms and education around sexual health appears to be limited within prisons.

The Committee’s report has reflected on the joint evidence and recommends that the opportunity is taken through the admission process to undertake dried blood spot testing on all prisoners. We very much welcome this recommendation by the Committee and this demonstrates the impact of collaborative working with third sector colleagues. The Scottish Government is expected to formally respond to the report by 10th July.

Read our joint submission [PDF - 520kB]

New Health and Social Care Standards published

The Scottish Government has published its new Health and Social Care Standards which set out what people can expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland. Although the Standards do not replace existing legislation which sets out the requirements for the provision of services, they will be used to complement regulations and best practice.

HIV Scotland previously submitted evidence as part the consultation process and emphasised the importance of embedding human rights at the heart of the Standards, as well as ensuring that people affected by HIV are involved in decisions about their care and support. We are encouraged that the Standards have a strong focus on human rights and efforts to prevent people from experience discrimination. In addition, HIV Scotland welcomes a commitment to dignity and respect for people accessing care irrespective of their sexual orientation; this was a key ask in our consultation response and was a call in the 2016 Positive Persons’ Manifesto.

Cross-Party Group on Sexual Health and BBVs

The Cross-Party Group is open to organisations and individuals who have an interest in sexual health and BBVs and we would like to encourage people to attend the future meetings.

Wednesday 21st June: 1pm - 2.30pm (Patient involvement and peer support access in Scotland)
Thursday 14th September: 5:30pm – 7pm (Sexual health and blood borne virus stigma)
Wednesday 6th December: 1pm – 2:30pm (Access to sexual health services, including testing)

For more information please contact Liam Beattie, Policy and Political Officer.