About

Positive Voices is a new national HIV patient survey developed by Public Health England in partnership with University College London and Imperial College London. 

The survey aims to collect data which will provide valuable insights into the issues that most affect the health and lives of people living with HIV.

The results of the survey will be used to monitor and improve existing HIV services and policies, and support the provision of new services.


Development of the survey was carried out in three stages:

  • Stage 1: The questionnaire was developed under the guidance of an advisory group including patient representatives, clinicians, academics, commissioners and civil society. The questionnaire itself was tested through cognitive interviewing with volunteers recruited through Bloomsbury HIV clinic.
  • Stage 2: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with clinic staff conducted on-site at 23 HIV clinics to assess the feasibility of delivering the survey in the HIV clinic setting.
  • Stage 3: Three focus groups were conducted with HIV patients in London, Bristol, and Sheffield to gauge the acceptability of the proposed survey, and to identify barriers and incentives to completing the survey.
  • Stage 4: The survey was piloted in 30 HIV clinics across England and Wales in May - November 2014. Survey invitations were distributed to participating HIV clinics, and clinics were asked to invite a random sample of patients attending for HIV care to complete the online questionnaire at their convenience. The pilot aimed to:

    1. Measure the effect of recruitment method and incentives on response rate
    2. Evaluate the representativeness of the respondent sample
    3. Assess the feasibility of delivering the survey in the clinic setting
    4. Compare respondents and non-respondents
    5. Assess data quality, including rates of variable completion and data linkage

Survey Implementation

Positive Voices survey 2017 is being implemented in 73 HIV clinics across England and Wales and aims to recruit a minimum sample size of 3,077 participants. Findings from the survey pilot revealed the need for both paper and online versions of the questionnaire for more convenient participation. The paper version of the questionnaire is available in 'Documents'. 

Recruitment for Positive Voices commenced in February 2017. Questions in the questionnaire cover the following areas:

  • education and employment 
  • housing and religion
  • sex and sexuality
  • alcohol, tobacco and drug use
  • adherence to HIV medication
  • quality of life
  • experiences with HIV stigma and discrimination
  • use of and satisfaction with NHS services

The Positive Voices survey has been designed in such a way that it can be replicated and reproduced. To ensure regular monitoring and improvement of HIV services delivered across the UK, it is hoped that the survey will be implemented every 3 years. 

Page last modified on 17 mar 17 13:02