For people living with HIV (PLHIV), having a high quality annual health review carried out by a healthcare professional is an essential part of managing their HIV infection. An annual health review can support PLHIV to lead healthy and fulfilling lives incorporating holistic needs and providing early detection and prevention of risk factors or comorbid illness. Defining what a high-quality annual health review is, and what standards healthcare professionals should aspire to and attain, has not been described.
This is the first good practice guide to describe a minimum set of standards for an annual health review.
Aims of the annual health review good practice guide for people living with HIV:
Improve outcomes for people living with HIV (PLHIV)
Ensure that best practice becomes a standard within HIV care settings to reduce variations in care
Improve effectiveness and efficiency in healthcare systems
Maintain appropriate prescribing and optimise adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART)
Increase appropriate prescribing of non-ART medicines across the pathway of care
Provide recognised audit measures and tools for service monitoring and development
The British HIV Association National audit (2015) for adults living with HIV and the National HIV Nurses Association (NHIVNA) national nurse-led audit of the standards for psychological support identified areas for improvement in the routine monitoring and assessment of adults with HIV. In response to the audit findings, NHIVNA in the UK—together with international colleagues—has developed this good practice guide to facilitate improvement in the quality of annual health reviews for PLHIV and it includes a set of nine measurable standards.
NHIVNA advocates that HIV-trained nurses are ideally placed to perform the annual health review due to their experience, expertise, knowledge, health promotion skills and holistic relationship with PLHIV. In practical terms, nurses contribute significantly to care responsibilities, are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team and are less likely to be moved on a rotational basis. As HIV nurse experts, we call upon the international HIV community of nursing to aspire to provide high-quality annual reviews for the people we care for, by adopting and implementing this good practice guide and, if necessary, adapting the content to suit different countries.