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Lawson Unit
Lawson Unit
Royal Sussex County Hospital
Eastern Road


LAWSON UNIT – COVID-19 advice for people living with HIV 
*** last updated December 29th 2020 ***

The advice for everyone in the UK is to regularly wash their hands, wear a face mask in crowded areas and practice social distancing.

The specific advice from the British HIV Association is as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. There is new guidance (click here) for those who are extremely clinically vulnerable that is now tailored to local COVID-19 infection rates.  Brighton and Hove are currently in Tier 4 and people in the extremely clinically vulnerable group are advised to shield but to attend hospital appointments if possible.
  4. 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.

General advice for Tier 4 can be found here


People can attend medical / hospital appointments as usual unless they have been advised not to.

People are advised against all but essential travel on public transport. If you need help to travel to an appointment or to collect medication, contact NHS volunteer responders on 08081963646.



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: December 29th 2020