Many U.K. Physicians Missing Early Signs of HIV, Group Says
July 24, 2008
As many as 50% of early-stage HIV cases are being missed by physicians in the United Kingdom, largely because they overlook symptoms that are flu-like in nature, the National AIDS Trust said recently, BBC News reports. According to NAT, people who visit their physicians complaining of flu-like symptoms often are told that the cause is a minor viral infection and that they should return if their conditions do not improve.
Martin Fisher, a consultant in HIV medicine, said the early stage of the virus is a "golden opportunity" to discover new cases. Fisher said, "HIV testing needs to be more widespread and routine. It's reasonable to expect doctors to be able to make this diagnosis." However, Christian Jessen, a physician specializing in sexual health medicine, said that doctors still are influenced by the stereotypical notion of the "gay man with HIV." Jessen said, "I have seen so many cases come to me which have been missed, and people with HIV are not just gay men, they are heterosexual men and women as well. Doctors need to always be alive to the possibility that the person in front of them may have HIV" (BBC News, 7/22).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.