Coronavirus update for those who are HIV positive
The current Guidance from PHE on Social Distancing ‘Staying alert and safe (social distancing) is available here.
These are anxious times for everyone, but people living with HIV are being urged not to panic and please be reassured that maintaining a seamless supply of anti-retroviral medication to you will be prioritised even if you are unable to attend the clinic or the clinics are closed.
COVID 19 vaccination advice for adults living with HIV
British HIV Association (BHIVA) and Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) have issued advice on the COVID 19 vaccine for adults living with HIV.
To read this, and for further information, please click here.
How will I know when it’s my turn to have the vaccine?
The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine so please wait to be contacted by them. There is no need for you to contact them about vaccination before then.
You can also see the rest of our coronavirus guidance here.
COVID 19 and shielding advice for adults living with HIV
We are aware that some people have recently received notification that they have been added to the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ list for COVID-19, which means that they need to stay and home and shield to help protect them from infection. For more information on shielding, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19. If you have been asked to shield, you are also eligible for additional support - see the Shielding Support website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support. You can find your local council’s details at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-local-help.
However, there are many cases where people who are NOT at high risk have been advised to shield based on incorrect information. This affects many people both with, and without, HIV. If you have HIV and have been added to the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ and asked to shield, this may be for non-HIV reasons or it may be an error. If you are concerned that you have been added to this list in error, please discuss this with your GP, who can remove you from the list if this is the case.
What is HIV?
Although they are often mixed up these two words have different meanings. 'HIV' is the name of a virus, whereas 'AIDS' is a name for a collection of illnesses caused by this virus.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) affects the immune system. You can catch the virus through unprotected sex or sometimes through sharing needles for drug use.
Routine blood tests for syphilis and HIV are recommended to all new patients and those who may have been at risk.
If you would like further information about HIV testing please ask to see a doctor, nurse or health adviser. HIV results are usually available within 7 days after testing. In some clinics we offer same day testing, so please contact your local iCaSH clinics direct for further details.
Standards of Care for People Living with HIV 2018
The BHIVA Standards of Care for People Living with HIV (2018 standards) were published in 2018. This is a valuable document - but it is long and can be hard to understand in some places. So a group of people living with HIV have produced "Your Guide to…" the 2018 Standards. This aims to tell you about what you should reasonably expect to receive in terms of HIV care. There is some useful general information and 8 Standards that cover all aspects of HIV care in the UK throughout your HIV journey…such as testing and diagnosis; starting HIV treatment; sexual health; mental health and emotional wellbeing; and more.
You can find this guide online at: https://standards.bhiva.org where there are also easy links to the full 2018 standards should you want more information.
Important information for patients switching medication from:
Click on the links below for our Patient Information Leaflets
HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis
Prescribing Medicines from iCaSH Services
Your Next iCaSH Appointment Teleconsultation