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HIV Services

HIV Testing

We offer all patients an HIV test as part of every routine appointment.  We use the latest technology in testing to check a small sample of blood which is taken from your arm. We understand that some people are frightened of having blood tests taken so if you are nervous please let us know.  The procedure is very quick and usually feels like no more than a small scratch - our staff are very skilled and will put you at your ease.

Usually HIV test results are returned to you along with the results of any other tests you have taken, at 14 days from your initial clinic visit.  However, in certain circumstances we may offer to perform an instant HIV test which provides a provisional result within 1 minute.  If we offer you this instant test, we will explain its advantages and disadvantages.

 

PEPSE

If you think you may have had sex with somebody who is HIV positive without using a condom, we may offer you "PEPSE" Post Exposure Prophylaxis following Sexual Exposure.  This is a 28 day course of medication which if taken in the right circumstances can reduce your risk of HIV infection.  PEPSE is most effective if taken in the first 24 hours following a possible exposure to the HIV virus but can be taken up to 72 hours afterwards.  We will ask you a few questions to help us evaluate your risk and we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of initiating this treatment depending on your individual circumstances.

 

Services for people living with HIV

If you have been diagnosed with HIV we provide comprehensive outpatient HIV treatment and care in our Durham, Bishop Auckland and Darlington GUM clinics.  We offer routine HIV check-ups including blood tests; we provide HIV treatment; and we offer annual cervical screening and flu vaccination for all patients living with HIV.  We run a specialist HIV pharmacist clinic and we can refer patients into our specialist HIV psychology service.  We also have close links with members of the social work service who have responsibility for people living with HIV.

Our HIV patients are usually seen by one of our consultants who are listed below.  We may also involve our nurses and health advisors in your care. 

Bishop Auckland: Dr Ralph

Darlington: Dr Duncan

Durham: Dr White / Dr Wardropper

We do not run specific HIV clinics - our patients are welcome to book an appointment within any of our GUM clinics which we find helps to maximise your confidentiality.  If you need to have monitoring bloods done, it is helpful if you can book a morning appointment, as several samples need to reach the laboratory within particular time limits.

If you need help or advice in between appointments, we are happy to hold telephone consultations. Please contact our reception and we can telephone you back at a convenient time.

 

 

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital