Foundations of General Practice : A workbook for nurses
HIV prevention as a primary health care nurse
HIV testing in primary care
Primary care can support HIV prevention by providing well-targeted HIV testing. In 2017, general practice diagnosed 34% of all patients with a HIV infection. [i]
When a HIV positive patient receives a diagnosis, they have the opportunity to start HIV treatment as early as possible. Early treatment provides health benefits to the patient [ii], and reduces the risk of passing HIV on to others [iii].
Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV
PrEP is an effective HIV prevention pill, taken daily by HIV-negative people to reduce their risk of HIV infection. Studies have found it is efficacious and well-tolerated by most patients [iv].
HIV PrEP can now be prescribed by all general practitioners and nurse practitioners.
Primary Health Care Nurses (PHCN) have an important role to play in HIV prevention
PHCN are in a unique position to provide sexual health services through their own nursing consultations and through a practice team approach. PHCNs can help by:
- Identifying patients who would benefit from PrEP that may not be aware of their HIV risk, to be evaluated by a clinician
- Supporting patient education around side-effects and adherence to PrEP medication, and discuss STI risk reduction behaviours, such as condom use
- Start a conversation, or lead a PrEP education session within your health care setting, such as a GP Practice. NSW PrEP resources for include:
- Promote a strong HIV prevention focus in your health care setting. For more information visit Ending HIV.