Best Poster Award at BHIVA/BASHH Conference April 2021

One of the key ‘getting to zero’ targets is to reach ‘zero HIV related deaths’ by 2030.

Fern Pattinson, a 4th year medical student from Brighton & Sussex Medical School, working with a team of researchers won the best poster prize at the BHIVA/BASHH Conference for her audit of HIV deaths within Brighton & Hove over the last 4 years.

Information on lifestyle risk factors, HIV treatment, other medical conditions (comorbidities), cause of death and end of life care was collected.

There were 75 deaths in 4 years (92% were male). Only 5 deaths (6%) were directly related to HIV – this compares to 18% nationally. Twenty-three further deaths (31%) were potentially preventable, relating to smoking, alcohol, drug misuse, viral hepatitis and suicide.  Adherence to HIV treatment was lower in this group, with fewer achieving undetectable virus (88%) compared to the overall cohort (99% <40 copies/ml).

These results reflect the efforts of local HIV services to ensure once diagnosed, people remain engaged in care. We have a responsibility to reduce all potentially preventable deaths and by targeting those due to lifestyle factors and comorbidities, we may be able to significantly reduce all-cause premature mortality among people living with HIV in Brighton & Hove