HIV – differences in service received

Treating people equally

In August and September 2013, working in partnership with the Brunswick Centre and Healthwatch Calderdale we became aware of a number of patients who reported feeling that they have been discriminated against when accessing Primary and Secondary healthcare services (e.g. GP appointments and dental appointments) due to their HIV status.

Healthwatch Kirklees found that:

  • Many HIV positive patients experienced judgemental attitudes and inappropriate questioning from medical staff about how they acquired HIV.
  • Patients’ HIV status was mentioned in wards and other public places in front of other patients.
  • Doctors (excluding Genito-Urinary Medicine doctors) not checking for possible drug interactions with anti-retroviral medication before prescribing other medication with potentially dangerous consequences.
  • HIV positive patients experienced problems with self-medication when in-patient at the hospital.
  • People not being tested for HIV despite having signs and symptoms of HIV due to value judgements by doctors about their situation based on their outward appearance.
  • Unnecessary delays- being put at the end of the list for medical procedures e.g. tooth extraction, dental surgery, and endoscopy.

Click here to read our report and recommendations.