Advice for healthcare and voluntary sector professionals
"This booklet is a practical resource that provides information and advice for healthcare, voluntary sector and other professionals working with detained HIV positive asylum seekers in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs). It may also be helpful for those working with HIV positive detainees in other detention settings such as short-term holding facilities or prisons.
Best practice checklist for IRCs
Maintain unbroken access to antiretroviral (ARV) medication for an HIV positive detainee who arrives with his or her ARV therapy. An arrangement must be in place between the IRC and the local HIV clinic to obtain ARV medication within 24 hours for an HIV positive detainee who does not arrive with his or her ARV therapy.
Ensure an HIV positive detainee is medically stable and fit to travel before removal. This includes consideration by the IRC General Practitioner (GP) of the detainee’s medical issues with input from HIV specialists when coming to a decision on fitness to travel. For audit purposes, keep a record in the patient’s medical notes.
In recent years, there has been increasing concern at failures to meet the HIV-related needs of asylum seekers. In particular, the process of detention and removal has resulted in real difficulties for asylum seekers living with HIV. This resource provides practical advice for IRC healthcare staff and for NHS healthcare workers supporting the HIV treatment, care and support needs of detainees while in detention and during the removal process. It also outlines where relevant the agreed roles and responsibilities of others working with such detainees.
Dame Denise Platt DBE
Chair, National AIDS Trust (NAT)
Dr Ian Williams
Chair, British HIV Association (BHIVA)
and BHIVA on the development of this booklet, are committed to ensuring this resource is used widely to meet those needs. Those detained in IRCs are entitled to NHS care equivalent to that available in the community. For serious and often complex long-term conditions such as HIV, there is a particular need to ensure consistent and appropriate care. We commend this resource to all those responsible for the health and well-being of detainees.
Dr Celia Grummitt
IRC Healthcare Steering Group
Last Updated on Saturday, 20 June 2009 23:07