The West Sussex HIV Service is a confidential service for anyone living with HIV infection.
We work closely with the Sussex Community HIV Team, the HIV team at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, your GP and voluntary services in order to provide a comprehensive service to meet all of your needs.
Receiving a new HIV diagnosis
A member of the team will make you an appointment in the next two weeks for a medical assessment and blood tests.
They will help you with any immediate concerns and arrange for an HIV specialist nurse or health adviser to keep in touch until your appointment.
You will be examined and asked about your medical history.
The doctor will explain more about HIV and your further management.
Some people find it useful to write down a list of questions and bring them to the appointment.
People often ask:
- Whom should I tell?
- Which partners should I inform?
- Can I still get pregnant?
- How can I keep sexual partners safe?
- How effective is the HIV medication?
- When do I start taking medication?
- How often are my appointments?
- Can I take recreational drugs?
- What support is available?
After the consultation with the doctor, the nurse specialist/ health adviser will check that you have all the information you need.
What other services are available?
At your appointment you will be offered a referral to the HIV Community Nursing Team.
Staff may make suggestions about which other services you may find helpful.
These can include:
- Specialist Pharmacy advice
- Counselling and support
- Mental Health service Advice on Social Care
- Condoms and advice on contraception
- Drop-in peer support
- Travel and holiday support
- Support for partners
You may not wish to access these other services straight away. If you change your mind, a referral can always be made at a later date.
What happens next?
A member of staff will make you your next appointments to see the nurse for blood tests and doctor for results.
In the meantime, help and advice is available from the HIV Community Nursing Team.
Liaison with your GP
With your permission the HIV consultant will update your GP on your new diagnosis.
This is important not only for your general health (the clinic doesn’t provide a 24 hour service) but also to ensure your GP doesn’t prescribe any medicines that could affect your HIV treatment.