The new House of Lords Ad Hoc Committee on HIV and AIDS in the UK has today published a call for evidence for its inquiry.
The Committee are investigating a wide range of aspects of the current situation on HIV and AIDS including monitoring, testing, treatment, prevention and stigma.
Specific questions the Committee have posed in their Call for Evidence include:
- How robust is the current system for monitoring people with HIV in England?
- Will the proposed health reforms impact on this system?
- Could anything be done to improve monitoring?
- Are current testing policies adequate and could more be done to increase take-up rates?
- How can the NHS best commission and deliver HIV treatment? How will proposed commissioning reforms impact on HIV treatment?
- Is the Government significantly focused on HIV prevention? Have the right groups been targeted?
- Have needle exchange programmes and other initiatives aimed at injecting drug users been successful?
- What impact does the stigmatisation of HIV have on those infected?
- Where are problems of stigmatisation most acute? What measures can be taken to tackle stigmatisation?
The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 18 February 2011.
The Committee will hear evidence from Dr Valerie Delpech, Professor Noel Gill and Dr Paul Cosford at the Health Protection Agency from 10.30am Tuesday 18 January 2011. The Evidence session will be held in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. Evidence sessions are held in public.
The Committee will ask questions on the level of infection in the UK, which groups are most severely affected and how effective monitoring of HIV and AIDS in the UK is.
Commenting on the launch of the Call for Evidence Lord Fowler, Chairman of the Committee, said:
“HIV is a significant threat to public health in the UK. Close to 100,000 people live with HIV across the country and 27 per cent of those with HIV do not know they are infected. We will be looking at how to improve testing to reduce the number of those who are unaware of their infection, and will consider whether more needs to be done to raise awareness of the risks.”
“The time is now right to assess whether there is adequate HIV treatment and prevention and how it may be affected by changes to the way services are commissioned in the NHS.
“We will also consider whether public information on the issue is aimed at the right groups and the impact stigmatisation has on those affected by HIV and AIDS.”