Terrence Higgins Trust Report To Police On HIV Transmission Gives Evidence For Change

January 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment


Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) launched “Policing Transmission”, a report on how police across England have handled allegations of HIV transmission. The report, with a series of recommendations for future good practice, has been welcomed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).




Policing Transmission is based on police records of actual cases which were investigated between 2004 and 2007. Staff from ACPO and the Metropolitan Police Service compiled reports from notes of cases identified by THT and other HIV support organisations and then worked with THT and a Community Advisory Panel to draw lessons and make recommendations.




The report is aimed primarily at police forces but also includes useful observations for community groups and clinicians who encounter allegations and investigations. It makes a strong case for better understanding of HIV by the police, and better understanding of police procedure and training by others. The report also provides a vivid picture of how some cases have been investigated, singling out good police practice and highlighting areas for improvement.




Lisa Power, Head of Policy at Terrence Higgins Trust said “Currently, many allegations – probably hundreds – are investigated but the vast majority rightly never end up in court. Increasingly, inappropriate cases are pursued for months or even years, only to be dropped because police are unfamiliar with guidelines for prosecution or the complexities of HIV transmission. We believe that investigations need to be fair and consistent, based on fact rather than fears and conducted in a manner that minimises distress to all parties involved and reduces the current high levels of wasted police resources.”




Policing Transmission was made possible by a grant by City Parochial Foundation. The Policing Transmission report is available at http://www.tht.org.uk/policingtransmission



Notes




– The recommendations in Policing Transmission will form the basis of a second phase of work for ACPO themselves, supported by NAT and a Community Advisory Panel which THT will participate in. THT will continue to work with other community groups to implement the findings.




– Terrence Higgins Trust, NAT, the Metropolitan Police Service, the Disability Advisory Group, George House Trust, African HIV Policy Network and the MPS lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advisory group were all represented on the Community Advisory Panel.




– Terrence Higgins Trust is the UK’s largest HIV and sexual health charity with centres across England, Scotland and Wales. We’re here to provide information and advice about HIV and sexual health and offer a range of services including sexual health checks, counselling and support groups. We campaign for a world where people with HIV live healthy lives, free from prejudice and discrimination and we promote good sexual health as a right and reality for all.



Terrence Higgins Trust

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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