The Nurseline for people with HIV worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be reached at:
** UPDATE 04 08 2020 **
There has been a general update to Test & Trace advice from the NHS and Brighton and Hove Council.
Sussex Beacon representatives were involved in consultation for this advice in East and West Sussex and Brighton, to help ensure the broad needs of people living with HIV were met in these newest guidelines.
Important Service Update due to Coronavirus restrictions:
The Health management team has adapted it’s services.
We are still accepting referrals for anyone living with HIV that feels that may need some support due to feelings of anxiety, isolation, physical health concerns or who just want to see a friendly face or hear a friendly voice.
This is being done through Phone support, video links and on-line group support.
From Monday 6th April our timetable of services will be something like this:
Online Group support:
Monday 11.00-12.00 on-line Women’s group
Tuesday 11.00 12.00 Day Service – for current clients. We can accept referrals.
Wednesday 11.0..-12.00 Day Service – for current clients. We can accept referrals.
Wednesday – 2.00-3.00pm Positive Fitness Class – current clients
Thursday – 11.00-12.00 Online group support facilitated by HMT staff for anyone living with HIV. Please email Hattie to be invited to this.
Tuesdays and some Saturdays pm – Mindfulness continuation sessions
Our Caseworkers will continue to contact by phone for support sessions, either practical due to difficulties with accessing food, medicines and essentials and emotional support as well.
We are phoning people reguaurly and If you feel you would you or anyone you know who would like this support too just email us.
FOR ALL ENQUIRIES OR REFERRALS PLEASE EMAIL
AND ONE OF THE HEALTH MANAGEMENT TEAM WILL GET BACK TO YOU PROMPTLY.
We appreciate that technology is not always easy to use and we will support everyone as best we can.
We are more than happy to talk and discuss any queries or answer quick questions as best we can, we are here to help. For further details of times and details of each session please contact us directly.
**UPDATE 30 03 2020**
Out of Hours Nurse Line for Coronavirus worries for people living with HIV
The Sussex Beacon has now established an out of hours nurse line for people living with HIV, their dependents or carers, who have anxieties or questions about Coronavirus.
**UPDATE 27 03 2020**
The Sussex Beacon and Beacon care users
The Sussex Beacon will continue to offer support where we can whilst safeguarding the wellbeing of service users, staff and volunteers
The inpatient unit remains working as usual and we will continue to take admissions with strict screening and guidance in place to ensure the continuing safety of staff, volunteers and patients.
We are also maintaining contact with the NHS to ensure that the Sussex Beacon plays the most useful role that it can for the community in this situation.
Many people rely on our Health Management services for support. We do not believe at the moment, however, that the safest way to provide this support is at the Beacon or in groups.
The Health Management Team will continue to work with clients remotely, using phone contact and skype etc.
The Sussex Beacon Shops
The Sussex Beacon shops have now all closed until further notice as we want to protect the public, our staff and volunteers.
Excerpts taken from the British HIV Association's website.
The British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) have received a number of enquiries about the UK Government's Guidance that "members of the public with serious health conditions will soon be asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks." This is defined in the Guidance as "anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds" which includes anyone living with HIV.
Whilst there is no evidence so far to determine whether people with HIV are at greater risk of COVID-19 acquisition or severe disease the new advice reflects the lack of evidence by classifying all people with HIV as vulnerable.
The Guidance from Public Health England (PHE) on Social Distancing for Vulnerable Groups, including people with HIV is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults. The general advice in this does not go as far as to recommend self-isolation for all at risk, nor does it specify a duration of time for the self-isolation.
More detail is expected soon and this may include specific advice for people living with HIV based on viral load and CD4 count, as people on HIV treatment with a good CD4 and undetectable viral load are not usually considered to have a "weakened immune system" as specified in the PHE guidance. BHIVA and THT will aim to inform the HIV community about new developments in the field as they emerge but right now we recommend following PHE’s "social distancing" advice which does not necessarily mean "self-isolation."
Excerpts below taken from the NHS website:
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
How long to stay at home
- if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Read our advice about staying at home.
Urgent advice:Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
It is particularly important for people who:
- are 70 or over
- have a long-term condition
- are pregnant
- have a weakened immune system
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- only travel on public transport if you need to
- work from home, if you can
- avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
- avoid events with large groups of people
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family
Who is at risk?
How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
There are some countries and areas where there's a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.
If you're planning to travel abroad and are concerned about coronavirus, see advice for travellers on GOV.UK.
Treatment for coronavirus
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.
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