The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


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(image: Boots)
BWC Coronavirus action plan

Since mid-March we have had to adapt the way we provide our service in light of the coronoavirus pandemic. These changes are all in line with national (British HIV Association) guidance and ensures that your HIV treatment and care can continue in the safest way possible. If you have any questions, concerns or worries about your HIV treatment and care please give us a call on 0113 3926762 and ask to speak to one of the doctors or nurses.


• We are moving as many appointments to telephone appointments as possible: we will arrange further medication supply over the phone and given these exceptional circumstances we have decided that ‘stable’ patients can go up to 12 months maximum without monitoring bloods.

• If a face to face consultation is required for bloods / other reasons we are still seeing patients in clinic and we will continue to do so but will be prioritising these face to face appointments for those who need it most.

• We are texting patients as usual to remind them of their appointments three days in advance but, in addition, also texting them to advise that they don’t attend clinic if they have a high fever or new continuous cough - we will make contact by phone to arrange further medication if needed.

• We are also now texting patients the day before their appointment to advise them if they need to attend their next clinic appointment in person or if their next appointment will take place over the phone.

• Unfortunately, we are unable to provide face to face appointments at our Wakefield and Dewsbury clinics from today until further notice due to staffing issues and increasingly restricted transport options and access to the clinical sites. We will conduct all of these booked appointments over the phone. If a face to face appointment is needed we will have to do this at Leeds for the time being. 

• Please click on the following link to see the current BHIVA guidance / statements in relation to people living with HIV and coronavirus which we hope is helpful: https://www.bhiva.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19

As the situation is rapidly evolving we are likely to have to adapt the above plan in the coming weeks and we will update information on the website accordingly. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING & PATIENCE AT THIS VERY CHALLENGING TIME.

Last updated information available at 

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 and

 https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19 

 This is a developing story, please check the above website regularly for updates.

 

EACS and BHIVA Statement on risk of COVID-19 for people living with HIV (PLWH) - Thursday 30 April 2020

So far there is no evidence for a higher COVID-19 infection rate or different disease course in people with HIV than in HIV-negative people. Current evidence indicates that the risk of severe illness increases with age, male sex and with certain chronic medical problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Although people with HIV who are on treatment with a normal CD4 T-cell count and suppressed viral load may not be at an increased risk of serious illness, many people with HIV have other conditions that increase their risk. Indeed, almost half of people living with HIV in Europe are older than 50 years and chronic medical problems such as cardiovascular and chronic lung disease are more common in people living with HIV. It has to be assumed that immune suppression, indicated by a low CD4 T-cell count (<200/µl) or not receiving antiretroviral treatment will also be associated with an increased risk for a more severe disease presentation.  No data is available with regard to pregnancy or potential perinatal transmission in the context of HIV.

Updated Government guidance on 22 June – advice from the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)

Tuesday 23 June 2020

On 22 June the Government provided advance notice regarding an update to its advice for people in England considered to be 'clinically extremely vulnerable' to COVID-19 who have previously been advised to shield.

At the last update on 31 May, people shielding were permitted to go outside of their house with their own household or, if they live alone, another household, while maintaining strict social distancing. At that time BHIVA advised that people should continue to shield if they were physically and psychologically able to do so. Based on the latest scientific and medical advice of a further reduction in the risk of catching coronavirus, the rules will be relaxed further, as per the Government’s advice for England quoted below:

From 6 July:

  • You can meet in groups of up to 6 people from outside your household, outdoors. You must maintain social distancing and not share items such as cups and plates.
  • If you live alone (or are a lone adult with dependent children under 18), you can form a support bubble with another household.

From 1 August:

  • No need to shield, you can visit shops and places of worship, with strict social distancing.

The guidance about shielding is slightly different if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you are shielding because of HIV (very low CD4 count or recent serious illness related to HIV) and feel concerned or anxious about stopping shielding, we advise speaking to your clinic as the decision to shield is a very individual one. Shielding support from the Government will continue until the end of July (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable). If you socialise outside please be very careful to maintain strict social distancing and hand washing, and to completely avoid any contact with people who have symptoms of, or who are known to have COVID-19.

Many people on treatment with well-controlled HIV received communications about shielding in error. Despite efforts by the NHS to correct these mistakes, it is possible that you will receive communications about shielding in error again. However, unless your HIV clinic has advised that you need to shield, or you are shielding for a reason not related to HIV, you can ignore this advice.


‘Click on the following link to see all BHIVA statements in relation to Coronavirus and HIV: https://www.bhiva.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19