Table 2

Frequency of responses to the survey

StatementRound 1Round 2Round 3
AgreeDisagreeAgreeDisagreeAgreeDisagree
PublicHPsPublicHPsPublicHPsPublicHPsPublicHPsPublicHPs
Stigma and sensitivity
 1. HIV tests should no longer have a special status and should be handled like any other routine blood tests85%75%15%25%80%84%20%16%80%88%20%12%
 2. Because having HIV may make people feel they have a stigma; HIV tests should only be carried out in cases where the doctor will not offend the patient57%6%43%94%60%0%40%100%60%2%40%98%
 3. It is acceptable for a HP not to recommend that a patient has a HIV test if the HP feels too uncomfortable40%2%60%98%41%0%59%100%41%0%59%100%
The use of computer selection programmes for screening
 4. The BBV screening programme is acceptable because detecting infections more often will benefit individual patients and the wider community75%67%25%33%78%69%22%31%78%75%22%25%
 5. The BBV screening programme is not acceptable because it tests people for BBVs without their consent51%53%49%47%57%63%43%37%57%70%43%30%
 6. The computer programme should not be able to use information on the patient (eg, age, post code or results of a previous test) to select blood samples for BBV testing60%45%40%55%49%26%51%74%49%22%51%78%
 7. A screening programme for BBV infections would help remove the burden of having to identify and counsel patients for HIV and BBV testing76%49%34%51%75%37%25%63%75%32%25%68%
 14. Assuming patients’ data were fully secure, a screening programme for BBV infections should be able to use patient information to select those most at risk of infections for screening74%84%26%16%72%98%28%2%
 15. A screening programme for BBV infections should not be allowed to use patient information to select those at most risk of infections even assuming the data were fully secure63%16%37%84%63%6%37%94%
Patient consent
 8. Posters and leaflets informing patients that they may be screened for BBV infections is an acceptable way to get consent70%53%30%47%57%42%43%58%57%35%43%65%
 9. Using posters and leaflets is not enough. The HP should still speak to patients and tell them that their blood may be tested for BBV infections and get their fully informed consent83%74%17%26%80%84%20%16%80%85%20%15%
 10. Any loss in patient choice is outweighed by the benefit of having infections diagnosed earlier75%51%25%49%71%26%29%74%71%32%29%68%
 11. There is not adequate information for a patient to decline BBV testing for this screening programme68%39%32%61%67%47%33%53%67%42%33%58%
 12. Offering a mix of types of consent to patients getting routine blood tests is more acceptable than offering limited consent only85%90%15%10%75%84%25%16%75%90%25%10%
 13. Even though it may cost more money overall, offering a mix of types of consent to patients getting routine blood tests is the most acceptable way of getting consent78%86%22%14%75%84%25%16%75%90%25%10%
 16. This system of informing patients of the screening programme and permitting opt-out is sufficient for ensuring limited consent and patient awareness69%68%31%32%59%62%41%38%
 17. This system is not sufficient for ensuring patients are aware their blood may be tested. All patients undergoing blood tests should also be asked to agree to taking part in the screening programme by a doctor or nurse practitioner73%53%27%47%63%73%37%27%
  • Percentage figures in bold indicate where consensus was achieved.

  • BBV, blood-borne virus; HP, health practitioner.