HIV 2018: the complex picture

Shaun Watson
Clinical Nurse Specialist (HIV Community)

Welcome to the Summer issue of HIV Nursing. I always consider this as the conference issue, it’s a good selling point when I ask people to write for it and as it’s our 20th Annual NHIVNA conference we have a bumper one for you. I was somewhat thrown in at the deep end having completely forgotten that I’d agreed to be guest editor and I thought long and hard about themes and ideas that could be included, discussing articles with colleagues some of which didn’t make the deadline but will be in future issues. Writing for the journal can be challenging for those of us who don’t feel we are academic or have the skills and knowledge, but after supporting many friends and colleagues through the process seeing your words in print is a great achievement (and something for your cv and revalidation).
Having secured funding for a series of continuing professional development articles I wanted to look at an issue that I feel is becoming increasingly challenging and problematic within HIV nursing; complex care and care coordination. In a world where the majority of people living with HIV have a well-controlled condition and, on the whole, are stable, as nurses we still find ourselves caring, supporting and managing an increasing cohort of ageing, frailer, complex and complicated group of people. This is reflected with the publication of the 2018 ‘BHIVA Standards of Care for people living with HIV’ where ageing, long-term health, complex care and care coordination pepper these updated guidelines.
Although we don’t theme the journal, complexity runs through this issue with Aedan Wolton discussing trans health in a research article about the Trans:Mission project, which explores the needs of trans people. The study highlights the work of a trans-led team within a sex-on-premises venue and explores PrEP awareness and education; showing the complexity of working with trans people and the need for more research, services and joint working to support and educate. As HIV testing and care moves from specialist services into primary care, Rebecca Kelly and Joanne Garside look at ‘HIV testing in primary care’ a small study that shows the needs and obstructions to GPs’ HIV testing provision. Although this was a very small sample, I feel it reflects what many of us understand about the movement of HIV care into primary care and the need to highlight concerns, especially around late diagnosis. In his article ‘Working with boys and young men’ Oli O’Donohoe discusses his work for the METRO charity managing and supporting the emotional and sexual health needs of young boys and men. I feel this is a great piece to look at a challenging, hard-to-reach group of people in a society, which unfortunately sees rising knife crime, gang culture and poor health engagement. Oli gives great examples of how he works and excellent tips on working with a group of complex people, who most of us find difficult to engage with.
Finally we have the abstracts submitted to this year’s 20th NHIVNA conference, yet again I am pleased that, despite time and staffing pressures, nurses are developing, reviewing and evaluating services, conducting research and audit looking at such diverse topics as stigma, patient engagement, partner notification, texting, e-communication and comorbidities with long-term health being key themes. This year for the first time we have case studies and I’d like to encourage those presenting to write these up for the journal as they all are great examples of the work we do on a daily basis reflecting our knowledge and skill, and can add to education.
Enjoy and learn!
Correspondence: Shaun Watson