30 June 2020

CNWL's Mortimer Market Centre has been supporting Fast-Track Cities in a new testing and treating initiative for people who experience homelessness.

Shortly after the lockdown, it became clear that the large numbers of rough sleepers in London would be at increased risk of contracting Covid-19. The Greater London Authority (GLA) had housed approximately 1500 rough sleepers in hotels, who were visited and tested for Covid-19 as well as for various Blood Borne Viruses (BBV) such as HIV and syphilis.

The testing was performed by the Find and Treat Team at UCL Hospital with help from staff members at CNWL and other trusts, which included both face-to-face testing and phone assessments.

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All those that were tested positive any BBV were sent to CNWL's Mortimer Market Centre for treatment.

As of Friday 29 May the service has seen:

  • 362 individuals screened for HIV and hepatitis C
  • 310 individuals screened for syphilis
  • 22 people diagnosed with hepatitis C and started treatment with peer support
  • 4 people HIV positive, all previously diagnosed, all disengaged from treatment
  • Reasons for disengagement from HIV care was homelessness, unable to attend clinic and lost medications for three of the four individuals
  • All four people started on ART
  • All four people linked in with peer services
  • Three people referred to start PrEP