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Health Insight May 2002: Government criticised on AIDS funding

  Speaking at one of Europe’s biggest AIDS charity galas in Austria, Sir Elton John said that the government should be ‘thoroughly ashamed’ of its record on spending to fight the threat of AIDS. The singer’s own foundation has raised £24 million for prevention and treatment of the disease. The Department of Health responded that NHS funding in England for HIV and AIDS had increased from just under £252 million in 1997–1998 to £331 million this year. However, AIDS charities are worried that despite rates of HIV continuing to increase the government no longer dedicates separate funding for HIV/AIDS work. Funds are administered as part of mainstream budgets, leaving much of the decision making and commissioning to individual primary care trusts.

More than 600 former patients were offered HIV tests after two hospitals each revealed that a healthcare worker was infected with the virus. The Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said a staff member was diagnosed HIV-positive and immediately stopped clinical work. The worker was granted a court order preventing identification. In another development, the Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, in Inverness, revealed it had written to 116 patients explaining they had undergone a procedure performed by a male healthcare worker who was HIV-positive.

Source: Independent 16th May, Guardian 16th May


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