MEDICINE: GPs lack expertise in HIV and Aids

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The Independent Online
Family doctors often lack the experience and training needed to cope with the complexities of treating patients with HIV or Aids, a report said yesterday. The two-year study, commissioned by the Department of Health, confirmed wide variations in the extent of GP involvement with HIV/Aids.

In high prevalence districts, 80 per cent of GPs helped to care for people with the infection or disease. But in low prevalence areas, 56 per cent had never seen an HIV-positive patient.

The research, conducted in north London and Nottingham, found that only half the doctors surveyed had received some training in HIV and Aids. As many again felt they needed further training.

Specialist hospital staff were often critical of general practices and discouraged patients from involving their GP, according to the research.