Tailoring nursing care for diverse patients and individual needs

Elizabeth Foote
Clinical Team Leader Nurse Specialist HIV Community , Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals NHS Trust

Welcome to the 2019 autumn issue of HIV Nursing . I would like to start by thanking all those who have taken the time to contribute and for all the hard work that has gone into producing a really interesting issue. The 21st Annual
Conference for the National HIV Nurses Association, held in Manchester, has just been and gone and we came away feeling inspired and proud to be working within the fi eld of HIV. The standard of talks this year was as ever incredibly high. Thank you to all who attended and to all who spoke. It ’ s much appreciated.
The wider HIV specialist team here in Liverpool has recently looked at numbers of those that have disengaged from care. Patients were followed up and contact was made with as many as possible. When asked why they had not attended clinic for a while, a number of patients responded by saying that their CD4 counts were healthy so they didn ’ t think they needed to be on antiretroviral treatment (ART). A few patients mentioned that they were elite controllers so hadn ’ t felt the need to attend clinic as they weren ’ t on treatment. Over the last few years studies such as START [1] and TEMPRANO [2] have changed the way we advise newly diagnosed patients with HIV in relation to starting treatment. The START study ’ s overall fi nding was that initiating patients onto treatment at a CD4 count of >500 cells/mm3 was associated with a 72% reduction in the risk of HIV-related events and was compared to those who were initiated onto treatment when CD4 counts had reached 350 cells/mm3 [1] . This was reinforced by the TEMPRANO study that showed that patients lived longer if they started ART at the time of diagnosis [2] . Early initiation of treatment benefi ts the health of patients living with HIV. Not forgetting the PARTNER 2 [3] study, which confi rmed that people living with HIV on effective treatment cannot pass it on. Patients are now initiated onto treatment as early as possible not only because undetectable means untransmittable but due to the fact that there are health benefi ts in doing so. Read more…