promoting positive change
HIV Scotland and Scotland as a whole makes a major contribution to the development of new approaches to HIV and sexual health. HIV policy evolves in the light of changing needs, new data, research evidence, legislation, and politics.
A major policy driver in Scotland at the current time is the HIV Action Plan, published in 2009. Fundamental to the HIV Action Plan, is the closer integration of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. The development of this HIV Action Plan signals a renewed focus on HIV and aims to reduce transmission and undiagnosed infection, to address the health needs of people living with HIV and to effectively coordinate services across the health, social care and voluntary sectors.
The HIV Action Plan has three key priorities:
The Scottish Government’s newly released Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework, brings together the policy areas of HIV, sexual health, hepatitis C and hepatitis B under one strategic framework, reflecting existing and increasing cross agenda working on these topics at both local and national level. The will provide a backdrop to the HIV Action Plan.
The framework uses 5 high level outcomes to direct work for the statutory and voluntary sectors. There are a range of distinct issues (e.g. unintended pregnancies) as well as common strands which address equality and cultural issues:
This should avoid duplication of resources and opportunities for collaboration by bringing together responses across health boards, voluntary sector and local authority. HIV Scotland are working with agencies to facilitate this process.
Measurable results follow policy initiatives in Scotland because of a combination of factors:
Scotland makes a major contribution to the development of new approaches to HIV and sexual health. Examples of successful Scottish policy can be seen in:
|The dramatic reduction in the late 1980s of HIV infection among injecting drug users||Harm reduction policies of early needle exchanges, substitute prescribing and community engagement|
|Doubling of HIV testing in 5 years to 2008||Opt-out testing policy and community promotion|
|Limiting of infections from mother to child||Ante-natal testing and good care in pregnancy and delivery|
|High quality clinical and community services for HIV prevention, treatment and care||Social and medical research linked closely with strategic and practical interventions|
|Equitable treatment for HIV infection across Scotland with excellence in service audits||Pragmatic approaches to treatment and prescribing, with support from NHS Boards|
|Engagement of civil society and community||Sustained ring-fenced funding for HIV prevention, and cross-sectoral partnerships|
HIV policy does not sit in isolation from other policy areas. In addition to the HIV Action Plan, other relevant policy includes: