When and why

Endoscopy is a broad term that refers to any investigation of the inside of the body using an endoscope. The endoscope is a tube with a light and a lens at the end. One fibre optic line controls lighting and the other line manages a powerful lens system. Endoscopy is both diagnostic and therapeutic. It can investigate problems (or establish the lack of), remove polyps, and obtain tissue samples for further examination.

Gastroscopy is the actual name for the procedure that just about everyone calls 'endoscopy'. It is often done when symptoms suggest a problem in the oesophagus, stomach, or duodenum (beginning portion of the small intestine). Endoscopy can help identify the cause of swallowing difficulty, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, malabsorption, and internal bleeding as well as procure tissue samples. The endoscope used for this procedure is a small, flexible tube.

The upper endoscopy procedure is normally done on an outpatient basis. Fasting is required 12 hours prior and an intravenous sedative is given prior to the start of the procedure. Although the individual is conscious throughout, most people who have this test remember little of it afterwards. Although the test sounds unpleasant, there is actually just a small amount of discomfort involved.

A colonoscopy examines the inside of the colon and large intestine to detect polyps, tumours, ulceration, inflammation, and to remove polyps or other tissue for biopsy. Colposcopy visualises the vagina and cervix to detect inflammation, cancer, and other conditions. Arthroscopy visualises the knee.

How it will help

In the presence of symptoms, an endoscopy can help diagnose Candida or CMV infection in the oesophagus, duodenal ulcers, and lesions of Kaposi's sarcoma. It is also used for diagnosing small bowel infections such as cryptosporidiosis, microsporidiosis, and mycobacterium avium infection.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.