People with HIV were asked about their need for a range of
services over the previous year. For each one, they were given four options: ‘I
did not need this’, ‘I have received this’, ‘I needed this but could not get
it’ and ‘I needed this but did not try to get it.’
The vast majority of people said they needed HIV-related
services and most of them did receive them. Most people also needed some other
health services, but only half got what they needed.
The picture is worse for social and welfare services. Just under half of respondents (45%)
needed these services, but only 38% of those with needs received services,
leaving 62% of these needs unmet.
Help with dealing with loneliness and isolation was the
greatest unmet need. Twenty per cent of all respondents expressed this need,
75% of whom said they had not received any help with it. Loneliness was equally
common in all age groups, ethnicities, genders and sexualities. There
weren’t any demographic groups who were more likely to receive help than
Other unmet social and welfare needs were career skills and
training, childcare services, financial advice, employment advice, legal
advice, relationship advice, meal or food services, immigration support and
domestic violence services. The number of people needing any particular service
was not particularly large (usually 10 or 15%), but most of those with needs
did not get any support.
Larger numbers of people needed housing support (22%) and
help claiming benefits (19%). Around half did get some help.
Significant numbers of people also had needs for a range of health services – 77% needed these
services, but only 53% of those with needs received services, leaving 47% of
these needs unmet.
Help to manage stress (33%), counselling or psychology (31%),
weight management (29%) and advice about sex (27%) were the most commonly
expressed needs. The numbers of respondents who wanted support in relation to
drug dependence treatment or chemsex were relatively small (5 and 6%
respectively), but there were very high levels of unmet need for these (60 and
Most respondents said they needed HIV-related services, which may be expected as having HIV was the
one thing all respondents had in common. In total, 83% said they had needs in relation
to HIV and 80% of those with needs did receive some services, leaving 20% with
The most commonly expressed HIV needs were for HIV treatment
advice (61% of participants), information about living with HIV, including
websites (47%) and adherence support (40%). Almost everyone who expressed these
needs had received help with them (93, 87 and 93% respectively).
The highest level of unmet HIV-related need was for peer
support and social contact with other people living with HIV. While 32% of all
respondents expressed a need for this, only 57% of those individuals had
received relevant services. Nationally, it could be extrapolated that around
28,000 wanted to receive peer support, with 12,000 not receiving any.
Other questions showed that satisfaction with HIV clinical
services was extremely high – 94% thought they were involved in decisions, 96%
said they had enough time at appointments and 97% said staff listened to them.