A declaration on 'Whole Person Care' in HIV care and support
Last night, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS welcomed organisations from across the HIV sector as well as people living with HIV to launch the ‘Whole Person Care’ declaration for HIV. The declaration praises the significant steps that the UK has made to reach the UNAIDS 90:90:90 target but recognises that the UK faces a new challenge of how to ensure that services adapt to the complex and changing needs of people living with HIV, with a particular focus on healthy ageing, good mental health and co-morbidities.
Key data from the declaration include:
• Two-thirds of people living with HIV have at least one other long-term condition. This rises to 75% in those aged over 50
• Levels of poverty seen in people living with HIV aged 55+ are double those seen in the general population
• 75% of people living with HIV are suffering from depression, anxiety or ongoing emotional distress
At the launch of the event, Dr Paul Williams MP, speaking on behalf of the APPG on HIV & AIDS noted; ‘Whole person care moves beyond treating HIV from a clinical perspective and recognises the many other social, economic, employment, and additional physical and mental health needs that are associated with living with HIV’
The declaration also highlights the importance of collaboration in addressing the often complex and interconnected challenges facing people living with HIV. The declaration is the result of co-operation among seven organisations from service delivery organisations, clinicians, policy influencers and the pharmaceutical sector. The declaration was co-authored by the National AIDS Trust, Terrence Higgins Trust, Positively UK, the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV, the British HIV Association and MSD.
The declaration calls on policymakers, healthcare professionals, commissioners, funders and local authorities to incorporate the principles of Whole Person Care into HIV treatment and care pathways. These principles should inform and guide changes to funding, commissioning and service delivery, to ensure that patients benefit from a more holistic and effective support framework.