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.

From 1 August:

There is no need to shield, you can visit shops and places of worship, with strict social distancing.

The guidance about shielding is slightly different if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you are shielding because of HIV (very low CD4 count or recent serious illness related to HIV) and feel concerned or anxious about stopping shielding, we advise speaking to your clinic as the decision to shield is a very individual one. Shielding support from the Government will continue until the end of July, further information is available here. If you socialise outside please be very careful to maintain strict social distancing and hand washing, and to completely avoid any contact with people who have symptoms of, or who are known to have COVID-19.

Many people on treatment with well-controlled HIV received communications about shielding in error. Despite efforts by the NHS to correct these mistakes, it is possible that you will receive communications about shielding in error again. However, unless your HIV clinic has advised that you need to shield, or you are shielding for a reason not related to HIV, you can ignore this advice.

These are anxious times for everyone, but people living with HIV are being urged not to panic. We will continue to monitor the latest developments and provide updated guidance if and when public health guidance changes.

Please also 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

 

These are anxious times for everyone, but people living with HIV are being urged not to panic. We will continue to monitor the latest developments and provide updated guidance if and when public health guidance changes. 

Please also 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. 

You can also see the rest of our coronavirus guidance here. 

 

What is HIV?

Although they are often mixed up these two words have different meanings. 'HIV' is the name of a virus, World AIDS day ribbonwhereas '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.

Important information for patients switching medication from:

Click on the links below for our Patient Information Leaflets
Non-antiretroviral Prescribing
HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis
Prescribing Medicines from iCaSH Services  
PrEP Participant Information Leaflet  
Your Next iCaSH Appointment Teleconsultation