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Social Work: Research


Improving the Healthcare Experiences of People Living with HIV in Scotland

Alison Irving, Knowledge Exchange Fellow, mentor Professor Viviene Cree

We know that people living with HIV in Scotland have different experiences of heathcare staff in relation to their HIV status. When these are negative it can have wide reaching consequences to individuals and society including:

  • Poor engagement with health services which, in turn, leads to adverse health and wellbeing outcomes for individuals, and poor mental and physical health.
  • Creating a barrier to HIV Testing: people undiagnosed are more likely to pass on HIV; reluctance to test leads to late diagnosis and poorer health / increased health costs. 
  • Illegal behaviour – HIV is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act and so treating an individual differently because of their HIV status is illegal.

We want to work towards a Scotland where all interactions in health settings for people living with HIV are good ones.  In order to help this to happen we are gathering details of the experiences of people living with HIV with healthcare staff that don’t work in HIV specific settings.  

We will use the information collected as part of this survey to produce resources which will inform, challenge and inspire health professionals.  We want to create a healthcare environment where people don’t need to worry about disclosing that they are HIV positive, and when people do disclose, that they are always treated with respect.

Alison Irving is the Communications Coordinator at  - Scotland’s HIV and Hepatitis C Charity.    

Contact: Alison Irving
Communications Coordinator
Waverley Care
3 Mansfield Place

Tel: 0131 556 9710
Fax: 0131 466 9883


Ali Irving