In this national study of the management of patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in general practice in Australia, 2000 general practitioners (GPs) from all Australian states and territories were surveyed by mail in April 1998, using a 60-item questionnaire. Three-quarters of those to whom the questionnaire was sent had previously indicated that they had an interest in HIV medicine; 45 per cent of respondents were interested in HIV medicine. Over two thirds of the 766 respondents had been consulted by an HIV-positive patient, a quarter had ordered an HIV antibody test which was reported as positive, and more than a quarter had HIV-positive patients whom they treat or manage. Fifteen per cent of the sample had HIV- positive patients who consult them at least every three months. It was found that the most common role taken by responding GPs in relation to their HIV-positive patients was in providing general health (non-HIV) consultations. They also provided counselling; referral to support services; health monitoring; and information about staying well and safer sex. There was a considerable number of respondents with HIV-positive patients who were not on antiretroviral drug therapy. Most responding GPs were found to refer to or manage in conjunction with specialist physicians or GPs. The widespread contact with HIV-positive patients is evidence of the need to ensure that all GPs have basic information and assistance in recognising and dealing with HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1999|