Salford Royal Emergency Department Routine HIV Testing

From 2 October 2023, we will be routinely providing HIV testing in our Emergency Department for all our patients aged 16 and over who are having their blood taken for other reasons.

This automatic testing is part of a national NHS initiative to test in the areas where there is highest prevalence of HIV. In Greater Manchester, this is Manchester and Salford. This will detect people living with the virus, and ultimately save lives.

  • HIV is a virus carried in the blood.
  • Many people living with HIV do not know they have it as they may not have or recognise the symptoms.
  • Knowing you have (or do not have) HIV means that you can protect yourself and others.

  • Late diagnosis of HIV reduces life expectancy by around 15 years and causes significant ill-health.
  • HIV affects the immune system by making it weaker, meaning it is much harder for the body to fight off infection.

  • HIV can be managed with daily tablets.
  • These antiretroviral medicines, work by stopping the virus replicating in the body, allowing the immune system to repair itself and prevent further damage.
  • If diagnosed early enough, people with HIV can live a long and healthy life.

  • It is possible to pass HIV to others through unprotected sex, or contact with infected blood, (e.g. sharing needles), especially if you do not have treatment.
  • Taking treatment regularly eliminates the risk of passing the viruses onto others.

  • The only way to know is to get a specific blood test, which is not usually included in routine blood tests done by your GP.
  • We are now routinely providing HIV testing for all our patients aged 16 and over who are having their blood taken in our Emergency Department for other reasons.

  • If you have a reactive result (provisional positive), an HIV service will contact you to arrange an appointment and discuss the next steps.
  • If you do not hear from us within 28 days, you can assume that your HIV test was negative. If for some reason your sample was unable to be tested for technical reasons, a member of the team will contact you and offer a retest.
  • You can also access your results by contacting our testing team on 0161 720 2638 

  • It can take up to 45 days for HIV to be detectable on a blood test after you have acquired it.
  • If you have been at recent risk of infection of HIV, you can get another test through your GP or local sexual health service.

  • If you do not want to have your blood tested for HIV, please inform the member of staff taking your blood tests.
  • Please note that your results will be kept confidential, and we will only contact you if you have a provisional positive result.


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