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Evidence we work

SHIP training produces a significant, sustained increase in HIV testing in primary care for each GP trained in a high prevalence area of the UK.

This increase in testing was:

  • a six-fold increase in GP testing rates during the period of observation

  • a 16% increase in practice HIV testing rates per GP trained (testing rate ratio 1.16, 95% CI 1.05-1.28, p value 0.004)

  • sustained over the 6 year observation period. 

  • driven by practices in high prevalence areas (>2 per 1000)


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Compared with general population screening, HIV tests used in routine clinical care in general practice in Haringey have a high probability of detecting a positive person (1.42% average positivity). This evaluation is a ‘real life’ measure of the impact that commissioners of SHIP could expect in comparable areas of the UK. Impact may be explained by the components of SHIP training that distinguish it from ineffective interventions such our focus on rapid risk assessment and specific verbal strategies appropriate for the primary care setting.


We are featured as a case study of good practice by NICE


1. Pillay K, Gardner M, Gould A, Otiti S, Mullineux J, Bärnighausen T, et al.  
Long term effect of primary health care training on HIV testing: A quasi-experimental evaluation of the Sexual Health in Practice (SHIP) intervention. 2018; PLoS ONE 13(8): e0199891.

2. Pillay TD, Mullineux J, Smith CJ, Matthews P. 
Unlocking the potential: longitudinal audit finds multifaceted education for general practice increases HIV testing and diagnosis. Sexually transmitted infections. 2013;89(3):191–6. Epub 2012/10/10. pmid:23044438

3. Mullineux J, Firmstone V, Matthews P, Ireson R. (2008)
Innovative Sexual Health Education for General Practice: An Evaluation of the Sexual Health in Practice (SHIP) Scheme. Education for Primary Care. 2008;19(4):397–407.

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