Updated: Mar 11
Inequality in HIV care is a matter of serious concern and an issue that we experience daily
as a frontline community organisation working directly with Black African and Minority Ethnic
(BAME) people living with HIV.
This report aims to bring attention to the current extent of inequality in the way that certain groups access and experience HIV services in the NHS. Looking specifically at the divisions between ethnic and gender divides, it finds that:
Black and Minority Ethnic people living with HIV (BME PLWHIV) feel less informed about their condition.
BME PLWHIV are less likely to engage with their clinicians.
BME PLWHIV are less engaged with their clinician when their treatment is altered
Lack of engagement among BME PLWHIV groups translates into poorer reported outcomes.
Women are more likely to receive a late HIV diagnosis than men.
Two-fifths of women living with HIV are diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Almost half of women living with HIV do not have the information they need to manage menopause.
Only a third of women (36%) said that GPs were always friendly, and 17% said GPs were ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ friendly.
Women are less likely than men to feel comfortable asking their GP questions about HIV
More than half of women needing peer support do not receive it.
The importance of tackling health inequalities has been recognised in the recently published NHS Long Term Plan. Within the plan, the £1 billion worth of funding promised to geographies with high health inequalities, and the request for local health systems to outline strategies for reducing their health inequalities by 2023/24, are welcomed. However, as there was no mention of HIV in the Long Term Plan it is vital that a national strategy for HIV is created which includes measures to address health inequalities specifically in HIV.