COVID-19 advice from the British HIV Association (BHIVA)

posted by: Don Leslie

updated 21st October 2021

BHIVA advice on the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for people living with HIV is now available here.

The easing of restrictions should not encourage people to stop adhering to recommendations on social distancing. Please keep up-to-date with the advice via GOV.UK channels (as below). We advise that people living with HIV (PLWH) should continue to follow Government advice regarding hand washing, distancing and face coverings.

We still do not have enough evidence yet on whether HIV affects risk of harm from COVID-19. So far, there have been only a few large cohort studies examining the impact of COVID-19 for people living with HIV, and the majority of these studies include only a small number of patients. Whilst some studies report a higher risk of COVID-19 related death for people living with HIV, others do not. Any increased risk is relatively small and no analysis has fully adjusted for potential confounders, such as kidney disease, diabetes or obesity, which might affect the results. We need more information to better understand your risks; this will come in the future.

Please note that there is no evidence to date that antiretrovirals, as HIV treatment or as PrEP, have any potential for treating coronavirus.

If you are concerned please contact  your nearest Devon sexual health clinic for advice.

BHIVA COVID

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Accessing our service

In response to the emergence of COVID-19 we have implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

We are currently experiencing high demand for our Sexual Health Services across Devon and Torbay with unprecedented demand in Exeter. Please note always review urgent cases the same day. If your need is urgent and you are struggling to reach us keep trying as our phone system will explain how to access same-day care with us.

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception here.

Self-requested STI testing by post is available for those aged under 25- more info

We are now running an under 18’s sit and wait clinic at Exeter, Torquay, and Barnstaple for more information click here

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - from a local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info