Guidance to Support Opt-Out Blood Borne Virus (BBV) Testing in Scottish Prisons

Publication Date: 04 July 2019

​​​​The Scottish Government updated the Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework in 2015. The update recommended the introduction of opt-out BBV testing in the Scottish Prison Establishment. A Short Life Working Group produced this guidance to support the delivery and monitoring of opt-out BBV testing in Scotland’s prisons. The guideline has been developed in line with national guidelines and policies.

BBV testing should be recommended to everyone in custody including those already in prison unless: 

  • they have been tested in the last 12 months and have NOT subsequently put themselves at risk of infection
  • they are known to be positive for a BBV*​

*Where an individual is known to be positive for one BBV, they should be tested for the remaining viruses – for example, HCV positive individuals should be tested for HIV and HBV.

The legal status of the person in custody should not affect the offer of testing – ​those on remand, sentenced and those awaiting sentence should all be offered a BBV test.

Resource information

Health Protection Scotland
Publication type:
Guideline and Guidance