Lawson Unit – COVID-19 advice
LAWSON UNIT – COVID-19 advice for people living with HIV
*** last updated 9th January 2020 ***
During the current pandemic we are still open but responding to a rapidly changing situation in the hospital. If you are unwell with COVID symptoms please follow the NHS advice.
The majority of our doctor’s appointments are being held by phone. Pharm@Sea is providing a delivery service for medications. We are reviewing blood appointments week by week and may need to delay your appointment if it is safe to do so.
We will continue to supply antiretroviral therapy as normal. If you have concerns about your HIV-related health or mental health please do ring us for advice or a telephone assessment and we will arrange for one of our doctors to see you where this is indicated.
Vaccination for COVID is being provided via GP surgeries in Brighton and Hove: we would advise all people living with HIV to ensure that they are registered with a GP who is aware of their HIV status, so that they can be assigned to the appropriate priority group for vaccination (group 6 or higher for all, depending on age and comorbidities). BHIVA have issued some advice about vaccination for people living with HIV which can be found here.
Other advice from the British HIV Association is as follows:
- People with CD4 count of more than 200 and who have an undetectable viral load on antiretroviral therapy are considered at no greater risk than the general population; follow general advice.
- People with CD4 count of less than 200, or people who have a detectable viral load or who are not on antiretroviral therapy may be at higher risk of severe illness; be stringent in following general advice.
- People with a CD4 count of less than 50 or who have had an opportunistic infection in the previous 6 months; follow any government shielding advice for the extremely clinically vulnerable group.
- People with HIV who have multiple other health conditions may be advised by their GP or HIV doctor to follow local shielding advice as outlined in point 3 above.
People are advised against all but essential travel on public transport. If you need help to travel to an appointment contact NHS volunteer responders on 08081963646.
NOTE RE SHIELDING ADVICE
Please note that some people living with HIV were incorrectly advised to shield in the first wave of COVID-19 in March 2020. The present shielding advice is only for people with HIV who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable due to a very low CD4 count, multiple other health conditions or additional health conditions that mean they are vulnerable to becoming unwell if they catch COVID-19. There is a list of these health conditions the link in Point 3 above.
For further detailed information see the British HIV Association website
For COVID-19 advice as to what do to if you have symptoms or updates please see latest government guidance here
Last updated: 9th January 2021