We are changing the way we are delivering our HIV support services during this time. This means that we are switching our services to telephone and virtual services (e.g. telephone conference/Zoom).
Please expand the links below for more information about how we’re delivering our services.
Contact us anytime
Have your say! Take our survey
Have you accessed our services during the COVID19 lockdown? If so, we want to hear from you! Please take our short 5 minute survey and help us to develop our projects and services.
Am I more at risk as a person living with HIV?
The British HIV Association (BHIVA) have stated that there is no evidence to suggest that people living with HIV are at greater risk of acquiring COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or more likely to have more serious illness than a person who is HIV negative.
However as with the general population there are factors that make people at greater risk of more serious illness such as age and chronic health conditions (such as diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory conditions. A number of people living with HIV are older and also have such conditions. It is thought that people living with HIV who are not virally suppressed or have a low CD4 count may have a higher risk of severe illness. People in these circumstances should take extra care and precautions such as self-isolating.
Advice from the British HIV Association is as follows:
- People with a CD4 count <50 or opportunistic illness in last 6 months: follow shielding advice for extremely vulnerable
- People with CD4 <200, detectable viral load or not on ART: follow social distancing advice stringently
- People with CD4 >200 and undetectable on ART: follow general population advice (ie social distancing).
What if I develop COVID-19 like symptoms?
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) such as a temperature above 37.8 °C and/or new and continuous cough seek clinical advice using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS111 if you. In an emergency, call 999 if you are seriously ill.
Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital. Do let your HIV doctors and/or your GP know even if your symptoms are mild. You can of course call us for non-medical related help and support.
What are the best ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19
- Follow the Government advice about social isolation instructions about things you can and cannot do – see here
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds – use hand sanitiser gel if soap is not available
- Always wash your hands when you arrive and leave somewhere, before eating food
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze and put the used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- Do not touch your face, eyes and mouth
- Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
What if I’m admitted to hospital with COVID-19
The British HIV Association have some guidance if you are admitted to hospital with COVID19. You can read it in full here.
These are some key points:
- Do not stop taking your HIV medications.
- Do disclose your HIV status to the doctors and nurses treating you. Some lung conditions that HIV causes are very similar to COVID19 symptoms.
- Do tell the doctors and nurses treating you what medications you are on. If it’s easier take a photo on your phone of the medicine packages so that you can show them.
It is not true that people with HIV won’t be provided with intensive care. If you require such care you will be given it.
The full guidance from BHIVA can be found here
Where can I get the more information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
We would suggest that you only go to reliable sources for information. The following websites are some of our suggestions:
Staying In Together - Our virtual event's programme
Staying in Together is our new series of online workshops, sessions, classes and events – all designed to keep up connected, engaged and active!
Visit the What’s On section of our website to see the full list of online workshops, sessions and groups.
HIV Testing & Prevention
Our face to face HIV/STI testing clinics are currently suspended. But we are currently piloting a new approach and if you live or work in East London we can provide you with online or phone supported HIV testing and STI screening from the comfort of your own home.
All you need to do is follow these three simple steps!
Condoms & lubricant:
- Condoms and lube can be ordered online at reduced prices from the freedoms shop
- For London residents under the age of 25 (and Redbridge residents of all ages), free condoms and lube can be access from pharmacies via the Come Correct (Ccard) scheme. More information can be found here
- People over the age of 25 can pick up free condoms via the Free Condom project in some Hackney pharmacies. More info can be found here
- For information on a range of issues concerning PrEP including stopping and restarting it please take a look at the advice from the website of our friends at PrEPster
- For people currently accessing PrEP through the IMPACT Trial, please contact your clinic to arrange pick up of medication if necessary. A face to face visit is most likely not necessary at this time.
- People not accessing the trial can continue to purchase PrEP online via I want PrEP now
Peer Support & Support Groups
All of our one to one peer support services will be offered by telephone or video calls like WhatsApp, FaceTime or Zoom. These are all very easy to use. We will provide peer support to you in a way that you feel most comfortable.
Our support groups will still be running. We will do them over a telephone conference or video call. Don’t worry we will talk you through how you can join us. Please refer to our newsletter or check the What’s On section of our website for the times and dates of the group.
If you are currently receiving counselling from one of our counsellors, they will be in touch to discuss the various options with you which will include continuing your counselling over the telephone or by video call.
If you are new to Positive East and would like to access our counselling services please ring 020 7791 2855 Monday to Friday 10.30am to 5pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteering at Positive East
Positive East has a long and established history of people volunteering. This commitment and dedication from our amazing volunteers has enabled the organisation to thrive and develop in its efforts to support people living with HIV.
In this current climate many of our services are being provided remotely and as a result not all our services can continue to be supported by volunteers. However, we continue to receive offers from existing and new volunteer wishing to give their support. For this reason, we would like to encourage everyone offering their time to organisations currently in great need of volunteers.
If you would like more information about how to get involved with our services please email email@example.com
Alternatively, please see below links to organisations offering volunteer opportunities in local areas.
Food chain are one of our partner agencies who are looking for: volunteers with cars/driving licenses/bicycles and lots of energy to do shopping for our most vulnerable clients and then deliver it to their homes. Please note Food Chain cannot accept anyone who would need to travel on public transport in order to volunteer.
If you are able to help, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Authority Volunteer opportunities:
Health and Wellbeing
Looking after yourself is as important as ever!
Our health and wellbeing newsletter
Every week we send out a Health and Wellbeing newsletter with service updates, healthy living suggestions and links to additional support services. To receive this please subscribe by sending an email to: email@example.com
You can also view past newsletters by clicking below
- 1 April 2020
- 25 March 2020
Other helpful health and wellbeing resources
More information coming soon
Council led support
More information coming soon
We are a community run organisation and we are grassroots by definition. Meaning a large proportion of our services are delivered by the community and we are increasingly reliant on the community’s financial support.
COVID-19 is creating challenges for us to raise the vital funding required to deliver our services. Nearly 50% of our total income is raised via community donations, individual gifts, grants, sponsorships and our World AIDS Day RED RUN, Positive Feast and KRUSH. COVID-19 is also creating unique challenges as to how we deliver our services and your support will allow us to remain flexible and resilient in this time of uncertainty.
For more information on how to get involved and pledge your support or for more information of sponsorship opportunities please contact: Ian Montgomery, Head of Fundraising and Communications.
We cannot thank enough those individuals, organisations, local businesses, trusts funders, corporate supporters and Red Runners who stand with Positive East and have pledged their support especially during these challenging times. Thank you!