New findings from the Positive Voices Survey 2017 have been released by Public Health England. Highlights include:
- High satisfaction with care: HIV services received were rated on average at 9.3 out of 10. In addition, 96% felt supported to self-manage their HIV and 95% felt they were involved in decisions about their HIV treatment and care.
- High self-reported adherence to HIV treatment: 89% had taken all their HIV tablets in the previous 14 days, and 6% had only missed one. One in 7 (17%) reported side-effects to their HIV medication in the previous 4 weeks.
- Good quality of life: respondents had high self-rated health, life satisfaction, and health-related quality of life (EQ-5D) scores; the report says this reflects excellent HIV treatment outcomes in the UK. Scores were only slightly lower than those for the general population.
- Increased risk of mental health problems: 28% had a General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) score of ≥4, indicating probable mental ill-health, compared with 19% of the general population.
- High rates of comorbidity: 59% reported ever having been diagnosed with a long-term condition in addition to HIV, most commonly high cholesterol, hypertension, arthritis and neuropathy. A third were living with two or more long-term conditions in addition to HIV.
- Over half (58%) had a current main partner: of these, 57% had an HIV negative partner, 39% had a positive partner and 4% did not know their partner’s HIV status. People with HIV-negative partners were more likely to use condoms (32% vs 15% of those with HIV-positive partners) and be sexually abstinent (36% vs 25%).
The Positive Voices 2017 survey was completed by a representative sample of 4,422 people living with HIV who were invited to participate through their local HIV clinic. The full report is freely available online.