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HIV: clinical review

Content developed by MIMS Learning



The development of successful antiretroviral therapy (ART) means people with HIV who are diagnosed early and motivated to take their therapy can expect a near normal life expectancy. Increasingly, HIV is considered a long-term condition like any other, and as such, is well within the scope of most general practice nurses.

This resource, updated in 2017, considers the role of rapid HIV tests, referring newly diagnosed patients and useful baseline assessments. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include recognising symptoms and illnesses that often coexist with HIV, and the impact of late diagnosis.


After completing this activity, you should be better able to:

  • Describe the ways in which HIV is acquired
  • Discuss the mechanisms through which HIV causes disease
  • Recognise presentations of patients that may indicate the diagnosis of HIV
  • Understand the different drugs used to treat HIV
  • Communicate to patients the importance of compliance with antiretroviral medication


Dr Charlotte Hopkins and Dr R Monica Lascar

Consultants in HIV and genitourinary medicine, Whipps Cross University Hospital, London

Update by:

Dr Laura Waters

Trustee of Terrence Higgins Trust and consultant GU/HIV medicine

HIV & hepatitis lead Central and North West London

This resource is provided at an advanced level by MIMS Learning. Read the article and reflect on what you have learned, then answer the test questions at the end.

Complete the resource to obtain a certificate of completion to include in your revalidation portfolio. You should record the time spent on this resource in your CPD log.


Living with HIV: the role of the practice nurse. Marie Therese Massey