HIV nursing is part of Sexual Health Bromley service.
If you are living with HIV, this service will support you to understand more about your condition. This can include how to treat HIV and related conditions, what you need to do to stay healthy and also how to deal with symptoms with appropriate treatments. We can also advise you about other local services and sources of support and information. The service supports you, your family, partner, friends and relatives.
Using this service
Anyone can use this service. You can contact them directly via email or telephone or via a referral from your HIV clinic, GP, nurse or other health or social care professional. You could also refer yourself. Any calls you make to us are confidential. You may also be referred to this service following a positive HIV test at a sexual health clinic.
Who this service is for
This service is for anyone who lives in Bromley who has HIV or who attends the sexual health clinic at Beckenham Beacon.
What is a first visit to this service like?
We will generally arrange to see you in the sexual health clinic or at home, depending on how you were referred to us. We will talk about what’s happened to you and any problems you currently have. By doing this we can assess your health, answer your questions and help you to understand more about HIV. We can agree a care plan and advise you about other sources of help and support you might find useful.
In Bromley we are very concerned because the number of people living with HIV is increasing. Not enough people are having an HIV test when they have routine health checks or when they see their doctor because they are ill. You won’t know if you have HIV unless you have a test. There are many good reasons to get tested:
– There are very effective treatments these days that can control the virus and help you to stay well.
– You can lead a normal life if HIV is diagnosed early and properly treated.
– If you have HIV, you can pass it on without realising it. You can prevent this by always using a condom.
Where can I get tested?
These days it’s very easy to get tested. You can:
– Ask your GP – all GPs in Bromley can organise an HIV test
– Request an online STI testing kit, go to: sexualhealthbromley.co.uk
– Go to the sexual health clinic at Beckenham Beacon where you can have a full set of tests for sexually transmitted infections
– Go to a sexual health clinic outside Bromley
– The HIV specialist nursing service can help organise and sometimes perform a test for you if you have a high risk
What types of HIV tests are available?
The most reliable type of HIV test is a blood test. However testing can also be done using a finger prick sample. This type of test is more convenient for some people, the test gives you an instant result and can be done in community clinics more easily. Home STI testing kits also use a finger prick test – you would be contacted by phone if this test was reactive. Any finger prick test that is reactive must be confirmed using a full HIV blood test.
What if I have a test and it's positive?
It’s much better to know because you can have good medical care to help you stay well. You will be referred immediately to a specialist clinic where the nurses and doctors look after people with HIV. You will get lots of advice, information and support.
In Bromley, there is a service like this at the Beckenham Beacon but you can choose to go an alternative HIV clinic if you prefer.
If you have any questions you can contact the HIV nursing service in confidence yourself and we will be happy to offer you advice and information.
Changing or cancelling an appointment
If you can’t make an appointment with us, please call as as soon as you can. We can usually offer an alternative.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks the body’s immune system. A healthy immune system provides a natural defence against disease and infection…read more
Other sources of information
This site provides information about treatment and other HIV issues. They produce an excellent monthly newsletter called ‘HIV treatment update’.
Terrence Higgins Trust
A national charity providing comprehensive advice, information and support for people living with HIV.
Information and advice about HIV treatments.