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Chamber and committees

Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee


HIV treatment and awareness in Scotland

Background

The Committee will be running a short inquiry into the progress that has been made with the treatment of HIV in Scotland. 

It will focus its inquiry on two issues: 

  • the importance of reducing stigma surrounding HIV 
  • the Scottish Government’s forthcoming HIV Transmission Elimination Delivery Plan which aims to eliminate new transmissions of HIV by 2030  

The Committee will hold two evidence sessions. In the first meeting, the Committee will meet in public to hear from two panels. 

The first panel will look at support for people with HIV in Scotland and reflect on the policies behind the Scottish Government’s approach.  

The second panel will hear from public health providers and explore: 

  • barriers to healthcare for people living with HIV
  • the recent introduction of opt out blood borne virus testing pilots in three Scottish Health Boards  

Opt-out testing means that when people attend an accident and emergency unit for a blood test, they will automatically be screened for HIV and viral hepatitis, unless they choose to opt out. The approach has been successfully piloted in England in areas with the highest levels of HIV prevalence. The UK Government are considering the extension of opt out testing to a further 43 emergency departments.  

The Committee will also hold a private meeting to understand the experiences of people in Scotland who are living with HIV. 

In running this inquiry, the Committee wants to: 

  • focus on the importance of reducing stigma associated with HIV
  • raise awareness of treatments available
  • learn more about the Scottish Government’s strategy for ending the transmission of HIV by 2030, including its pilots of opt out blood virus testing pilots
  • learn about what more can be done to help achieve the Government’s aim 

The Committee will also hear from the Minister for Public Health.  

It plans to conclude its inquiry by writing  to the Scottish Government with its findings and recommendations.

Correspondence


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