What’s your status?
The only way to find out if you have HIV is to have an HIV test, as symptoms of HIV may not appear for many years. The sooner we know that someone has HIV the better the long term outcome.
If you’re worried you’ve been at risk, a test can put your mind at ease and end those worries and doubts.
HIV testing is FREE of charge on the NHS regardless of immigration status.
In the UK you can test anonymously at any Sexual Health Clinic. You can also test at your GP.
Nottingham sexual health services can offer HIV results during your appointment. Clinics are run by trained health professionals. No one else will know your test results unless you choose to tell them.
Nottingham Sexual Health Service offer different types of HIV testing:
Blood test – where a sample of blood is taken in a clinic and sent for testing in a laboratory. Results are available within 2 weeks.
Point of care test (City Campus only) – where a small spot of blood from your finger is taken in a clinic. This sample doesn't need to be sent to a laboratory and the results are available during your appointment. If the results are ‘reactive’ we will book you into GUM for a further blood test to confirm these results and will also offer support. If your result is non-reactive we may still recommend further screening for STIs and vaccination if required.
How often should I test for HIV?
Any time you change sexual partner or every three months if changing partners more frequently.
The Department of Sexual Health and HIV, Nottingham City Hospital runs the HIV outpatient service. There are clinics running every day of the week. These take place in the GU Medicine building as well as in the Main outpatients building (Clinic 5) at Nottingham City Hospital. A once monthly clinic takes place at the Mary Potter centre in Hyson Green.
These are run by Consultants in Sexual Health/HIV and Infectious Diseases.
During the current coronavirus pandemic the majority of our appointments are virtual (telephone or video call). A few patients will be asked to come in to the hospital to be seen face-to-face.
We will contact you before your appointment to confirm what type of appointment it will be. If we are unable to speak to you we will send you a sms.
If you’re HIV negative, you may be able to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication to reduce your risk of getting the virus.
PrEP is available for some people who are at high risk of HIV infection- for example those whose partner is HIV positive and not on treatment or those who have regular unprotected anal sex with partners of unknown HIV status.
Undetectable = Untransmittable
When someone with HIV takes effective treatment everyday their viral load should be reduced to undetectable levels.
Having a consistently undetectable viral load for 6 months or more means it isn't possible to pass on the virus.
This is called undetectable=untransmittable (U=U)