Standards of Care and Clinical Standards


HIV must be afforded greater priority if the below Standards are to be achieved. Until recently, HIV has appeared to be largely missing from national and local outcomes and performance monitoring mechanisms.

The newly integrated health and social care and the development of national outcomes for health and wellbeing should provide an opportunity to address this oversight, and to ensure the inclusion of people living with or at risk of HIV in the design and delivery of services. HIV Scotland believes that there should be a duty on public bodies to adhere to principles such as involvement, collaboration and the fulfilment of individual’s rights when they are providing health and social care services.

Standards of Care for People Living with HIV

People with HIV should have access to consistently high-quality care no matter where they live. The British HIV Association has developed Standards of Care for People Living with HIV, setting out what people should expect to be able to access. In accordance with these Standards, HIV Scotland calls for health and social care services across Scotland to ensure that:

  • People attending health care services (in primary and secondary care) are offered HIV tests, in accordance with current national guidance.
  • People living with HIV should have choice about when they start treatment first and foremost, as well as be prescribed antiretroviral drugs and receive treatment and monitoring as per national guidance.
  • People living with HIV should receive care and support which promotes their mental wellbeing and is sensitive to the unique aspects of living with HIV.
  • People living with HIV should be supported in establishing and maintaining healthy sexual lives for themselves (and their partners).
  • People living with HIV should be offered support from staff competent in partner/contact notification with expertise relevant to their individual circumstances.
  • People living with HIV should be enabled to maximise self-management of their physical and mental health, their social and economic well-being, and to optimise peer-support opportunities.
  • People living with HIV should have opportunities to be actively involved in decisions about their health care. People who use HIV clinical services should have opportunities to be involved in the design, planning and delivery of these services.
  • People living with HIV should receive care overseen by a consultant physician specialist in HIV and provided by practitioners with appropriate competencies.

Clinical Standards for HIV Services

Health Improvement Scotland has also developed Clinical Standards for HIV Services, which are applicable to the NHS. These aim to improve the quality and coordination of HIV care by focusing on:

  • Service organisation
  • Prevention
  • Recognition and diagnosis
  • Treatment and care