HIV Medicine

COVID-19/Coronavirus

Outpatient HIV clinics have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the service will continue to run and aims to deliver urgent virtual (phone or video call) clinic appointments, provide care for inpatients with HIV related issues, and will continue to supply prescriptions for HIV medications (both for home delivery and for collection at the hospital). In exceptional circumstances a face-to-face appointment/blood tests may be arranged. Patients should ensure that they have 30 days’ supply of their HIV medication at all times. 

If patients develop symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperatures above 37.8 degrees C and/or new and continuous cough) then, as per other patients, they should seek clinical advice from NHS 111 online (https://111.nhs.uk/) or call NHS 111 if they don’t have internet access. 999 should be called if patients are seriously unwell. If there are HIV related queries then we would prefer that patients email brecon.nurses@nhs.net, or alternatively phone 0117 4146400 if they cannot email. 

Information on coronavirus specific to HIV patients can be found on the British HIV Association (BHIVA) website at https://www.bhiva.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19. Particularly of relevance at time of writing is the ‘British HIV Association (BHIVA) and Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) statement on COVID-19 and advice for the extremely vulnerable’ (available at https://www.bhiva.org/BHIVA-and-THT-statement-on-COVID-19-and-advice-for-the-extremely-vulnerable). This statement indicates that patients living with HIV with CD4 counts <50,  or who have had an opportunistic illness (a serious illness due to suppression of the immune system) within the last 6 months, should be encouraged to follow the shielding advice for the extremely vulnerable – see 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 for advice on shielding. 

Government advice on Coronavirus can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

HIV Medicine Service

The North Bristol NHS Trust HIV Service is based at Southmead Hospital Bristol.

Where patients are known to be HIV positive they should be referred to the HIV specialist nurses via email at brecon.nurses@nhs.net.

An HIV test can be done in many different healthcare settings, including at the GP and Bristol Sexual Health Centre. Early diagnosis and treatment has many health benefits.

Where there may be particular concerns around HIV testing, our team would be happy to discuss this.

For confidential HIV testing and sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening contact the Unity Sexual Health Centre on 0117 3426900 (website: https://www.unitysexualhealth.co.uk/). Patients may order free STI tesing kits for home use (if aged 16 or over and living in Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire) at https://www.unitysexualhealth.co.uk/test-kit/. For some people it may be more appropriate to get an HIV test in a sexual health clinic.

Acutely ill HIV patients should be discussed with the HIV team or the hospital HIV on-call team for admission, contactable via switchboard.

Conditions Treated:

  • Suspected acute HIV infection
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis after Sexual Exposure to HIV (PEPSE) - referrals taken from other healthcare providers
  • Chronic HIV infection 

Note this service is only for patients living with HIV and for those referred from other healthcare providers for continuation/discontinuation of PEPSE.

  Appointment Clinic Times are:
  Monday 12.00pm – 4.00pm
  Tuesday 2.00pm – 6.00pm
  Wednesday 12.00pm – 4.00pm
  Thursday 8.00am – 12.00pm

HIV Medicine Team

Specialty Director
Dr Mark Gompels - Lead Clinician
Telephone (secretary): 0117 4146395

Consultants

Dr Sarah Johnston
Dr Philip Bright
Dr Sathish Thomas (Tuesday and on call)
Dr Adele Wolujewicz (until June 2020)
Dr Ed Moran (from June 2020)

Hospital Specialists
Dr Sarah Golding

Pharmacists
Jo Latimer
Ari Denham
Lisa Atkins 

Clinical Nurse Specialists/Health Advisors
Kieran Sharkey
Liz Williams
Bradley Moore

Research Nurses
Louise Jennings - Lead
Lana Ward – Support

Medical Secretaries: 
Tel: 0117 4146394, Fax: 0117 4149442
Danielle Coombs
Sharon Hemming
Bozena Zelazowska

Administrators
Christina Fletcher
Susan Allan (Database)

Dieticians
Katherine Barker
Kathryn Cambell

HIV Medicine Service Useful Links

The team at NAM (National AIDS Manual) produce and distribute accurate, up-to-date and evidence-based resources (printed, electronic, audio and online), covering both the medical and social aspects of HIV, to people living with HIV and to those who work to treat, support and care for them. Visit www.aidsmap.com for more information.

Medicines interactions checker: https://www.hiv-druginteractions.org/checker

A charity called Brigstowe, based in Bristol, are dedicated to the help of patients living with HIV. As well as lots of information about HIV Brigstowe offer the following to patients living with HIV:

A one-to-one advice and support service
A migrant and asylum service
Group peer support
One-to-one peer support
Clinic peer support
A recently diagnosed workshop

Please contact Brigstowe on 0117 9555038 or see their website https://www.brigstowe.org/ for further information, advice and support.

Terence Higgins Trust (THT) work alongside the Brigstowe project, and support people living with HIV. Among other services this support includes:

  • Health and well-being groups
  • A women's group
  • One to one support
  • Support over the phone
  • Online counselling

Individuals may access THT themselves or referrals can be made by other agencies (telephone 0117 9555038 or 0808 8021221)

 

Last updated 30/06/2020