- HIV positive - undetectable viral load gives best
- No need to self-isolate unless you have other medical
comorbidities and/or CD4 <350
- Follow Government advice you should socially-distance
yourself, no groups/pubs/restaurants etc.
- Continue to take your medication - good compliance is key to
- If you are unwell with a raised temperature or persistent dry
cough call 111
- When you call 111 disclose HIV +ve with undetectable viral
- General hand washing and use of tissues apply the same as
This is current advice BUT may change with health or
Please look at BHIVA and THT updates online.
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.
If you are living in County Durham you can order a
free HIV test at https://freetesting.hiv/
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
If you have been diagnosed with HIV we provide comprehensive
outpatient HIV treatment and care in our Durham, Bishop Auckland
and Darlington Sexual Health Hubs (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
Durham: Dr White / Dr Wardropper
We do not run specific HIV clinics - our patients are welcome to
book an appointment within any of our Sexual Health Hubs 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.
'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their
Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital