New guidelines on how social care services and care homes can best support people living with HIV in Scotland will be launched at a seminar hosted by HIV Scotland in Edinburgh today. 

The Care Inspectorate and NAT (National AIDS Trust) have worked together to produce the first ever guidance for inspectors of care services to assess whether the needs of people living with HIV are being met in care services.

HIV is a long-term manageable condition. As people on effective treatment grow older, an ageing population of people living with HIV now require social care services and support.

The event in Edinburgh will bring together social care providers from across Scotland to discuss what needs to be done to ensure social care services best support an ageing population of people living with HIV. Supported by Gilead Sciences Ltd as part of the HIV Age Positively Programme and via The Corra Foundation's Henry Duncan Grant, it is also being livestreamed (1).

Peter Macleod, Chief Executive of Care Inspectorate, said:

“We’re delighted to work with NAT to produce this much-needed guidance for inspecting social care services for people living with HIV. As people with HIV live longer and need to use social care services, we must ensure the care they experience is appropriate.

“Many thanks to HIV Scotland for hosting this exciting seminar so we can discuss such an important issue with a range of social care providers.”

Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive of HIV Scotland, said:

“As people living with HIV in Scotland age, stigma-free social care is essential. It’s great to work with the Care Inspectorate and NAT to launch this new guidance for social care inspectors. This is an excellent step in helping to make sure people living with HIV are not discriminated against when they use social care services.

“Our series of events has brought together people living with HIV, policy makers, and the third sector to ensure that we can meet the needs of people living with HIV as they age. We look forward to harnessing all of this energy into positive change.”

Kat Smithson, Director of Policy at NAT (National AIDS Trust), said:

“We know, unfortunately, that stigma around HIV is often reported in social care settings because not all social care services are fully-equipped with knowledge about HIV. More and more people are living long and healthy lives with HIV because they’re on effective treatment, and it’s vital they receive suitable care that doesn’t discriminate against them. We hope the guidance we’ve had the pleasure of creating with the Care Inspectorate helps achieve this.”

James, who is living with HIV, said: “

“These new guidelines are a good step forward because the care we receive can be a postcode lottery, and in many cases it is difficult to access social care as a person living with HIV.

“It is clear that we need to take action and having these standards for inspection will help speed up change.”

Download the practice note here