6th August 2021
Testing and reviews
All patients will be reviewed based on the national standards and their clinical needs following diagnosis and starting of ART. This will include a minimum of a six month and annual review appointment. You will have more appointments if you are newly diagnosed.
The six month review will include blood taking, offer of a sexual health screen and health review.
The annual review includes assessment and discussion related to your:
1. Cardiovascular health
2. Bone health
3. Renal health
4. Sexual and reproductive health and psychosexual wellbeing
5. Mental health and psychosocial wellbeing
6. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and non-ART management
7. Preventative medicine
8. Monitoring of comorbidities
9. Neurocognitive impairment
If you are living with HIV, have a cervix and are over the age of 25, we recommend that you have a smear test once a year. We will offer this to you at your appointment. You will also be offered asymptomatic STI screening.
Telling your GP that you have HIV
You don't have to tell your GP that you have HIV. Some people are reluctant to tell their GP because they are worried about confidentiality. However, there are some reasons why it makes good sense to tell your GP that you have HIV. It will help them provide the most appropriate treatment and care. For example, if you are taking HIV treatment, it’s important to consider potentially harmful interactions with other medications. Knowing that you have HIV will enable your GP to look out for signs and symptoms of illnesses or side-effects.
Sexual health and contraception
If you would like a sexual health screening, whether you have symptoms of an STI or not, click here for more information.
If you do not have an undetectable viral load, your sexual contacts might want to consider PrEP. PrEP is a pill that can prevent HIV transmission if taken correctly. For more information, click here.
We can also offer vaccinations for HPV, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B to most at risk groups. For more information and eligibility, click here.
If you would like to find out more about your contraception options:
Who will be involved?
The HIV team is made up with different professionals who all have an important role to play in your care. We work very much as a team and you may see a doctor or a nurse at your clinic appointments.
Consultants / Registrars: You will see a consultant or a registrar if you are newly diagnosed and if your care is complex or you have other health conditions as well as HIV. They will see you for your consultations at the clinic, prescribe your treatment and arrange any follow up care or tests.
Advanced nurse specialists: You will see an advanced nurse specialist at some of your appointments in the clinic. They will carry out your consultation, and may prescribe your treatment as well as arranging for your blood tests which will take place at the same appointment.
Pharmacist: We have a specialist pharmacist within the team who may contact you to discuss your medication. They may also prescribe your treatment.
Admin: We have our own admin support that has a direct phone line. Any appointment queries should be directly to that number. If you are transferring your care to us from another area, they will liaise with you regarding details of your previous care provider.
Wellbeing & Support Team: Your clinical team will discuss the wellbeing & support team with you during your consultation. The team may contact you following your first clinic appointment for an introduction. They will keep in touch through the first few weeks of your care and complete an informal assessment to best see how they can provide support to you and your family or friends if needed. The team also arrange virtual and face to face support sessions.
Clinical Psychologist: We can refer you to our expert psychologist if needed, discuss with you if they can help with adjusting to your new diagnosis, the stress and grief and making key changes to thinking based on trauma, complex issues, abuse, phobias and fears.
Some things to bear in mind to help us help you:
Appointments: If you need to change an appointment, please give us at least 24 hours’ notice. That allows the appointment to be used by someone else if needed.
Medication: You can decide if you wish your medication to be delivered to your home or for you to collect from the clinic. If you are running low on medication please contact us giving us a least 2 weeks’ notice before you run out. We need time to arrange a prescription and delivery.
Letters: We can provide a letter for travel purposes to explain that you need to carry your medication with you. Please give us 2 weeks’ notice.
Living well with HIV:
Click here for more information on self care for people living with HIV.
Feedback on the service:
Our team continually looks at ways in which we can improve our services. We need your help to do this. From time to time we may ask for your feedback at your appointment or via email. If you don’t wish to participate in this you can email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org) to opt out.