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GPs applaud HIV screening programme

15 June 2005

GPs applaud HIV screening programme

Any screening programme that helps prevent the further spread of the HIV virus is to be applauded, believes the College of GPs. The continued expansion of the virus through both the heterosexual and homosexual populations is one of our major concerns, said College president Dr Jim Vause, “none more so than when the virus is transmitted to the newborn.”

Dr Vause said there will be resource and training issues, as the management and treatment of patients with HIV must be undertaken by trained medical staff, with skilled counselling and high levels of communication skills.

“You also need an intimate knowledge of the science behind the test and the nature of the disease itself.

“We advocate for an integrated team approach, GPs, nurses and midwives working together for the benefit of every expectant mother.

“The earlier we can intervene the better, ” he said. The Government decision to implement the screening programme was consistent with College submissions on HIV screening to the National Health Committee in November 2003.

The College of GPs was somewhat concerned at reported remarks from the College of Midwives that indicated they somehow feel an independent midwife should be left alone to manage this difficult problem.

The current system of LMC based maternity care is not delivering integrated maternity care with any consistency around the country and is desperately in need of review. “The HIV problem is a warning signal that should not be ignored.”

ENDS

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