Nigel Clerk, George Antunes, John Williams and Wendy Dibble
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 22, Iss. 11, 13 Jun 2013, pp 634 - 637
The HIV epidemic has increased the global tuberculosis (TB) burden and focused attention on the need to strengthen links between TB and HIV programmes in order to tackle these public health issues more effectively (World Health Organization (WHO), 2004). HIV testing is now recommended in various healthcare settings and guidelines state that it should include all patients with a diagnosis of active TB (British HIV Association, British Association of Sexual Health and HIV, British Infection Society, 2008; Health Protection Agency (HPA), 2009). This has been shown to standardise HIV testing and improve outcomes as HIV infection will affect the management of active TB and will reduce transmission of the virus within the community (HPA, 2009). The purpose of this study was to determine if a change had occurred after the introduction of nurse-led HIV testing following the results of an audit. The re-audit examined whether a change had occurred in the rate of HIV testing in confirmed active TB cases. The study covered a 12-month period; 31 cases of active TB were identified for inclusion in the study. Patients were offered testing in 90.3% of cases and the results strongly demonstrated that nurse-led HIV testing can improve uptake in both a clinic and community setting.