HIV treatment and care

Our service is the largest of three dedicated HIV services offered by NHS hospital trusts in north east London and it also provides a referral service for patients who may have more complicated health problems. Patients are referred to us by sexual health clinics, other hospital departments or GPs once they are diagnosed with HIV infection. Patients can also make contact with us directly without a referral from any other medical service or those newly diagnosed. We provide a free and confidential treatment for people living with HIV.

Our outpatient services provide a comprehensive range of HIV services and treatment

  • Transferring your care to one of our clinics in Barts Health 
  • Booked appointments
  • Urgent clinic (SOS)
  • Blood test
  • HIV pharmacy and prescriptions
  • Sexual health screening for HIV positive patients
  • Vaccination
  • Clinical nurse specialist (community services)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (women’s health)
  • Health advisors, partner notification and family testing
  • Psychology
  • Clinical research unit at Grahame Hayton unit
  • HIV co-infection clinics
  • Social worker service

We have 3 HIV outpatient services across east London

  • Grahame Hayton Unit (The Royal London Hospital) in Whitechapel
  • Greenway Centre (Newham Hospital) in Newham
  • Sir Ludwig Guttman Centre in Stratford

Visit one of our clinics

Registering with a GP

Registering with a GP

We may find that you have a problem that is unrelated to HIV such as asthma or high cholesterol. In these situations, it is better that your GP manages that part of your health as they are likely to be more experienced in these particular aspects of health care.

Your GP may also need to prescribe medication for you. It is important that whenever someone prescribes medication, they are aware of what you are already taking. This is to avoid giving you something that may interact with your existing medication and potentially make you feel worse, or even cause your HIV medications to stop working.

Psychological support

Clinical psychology is part of the multidisciplinary team which offers services to patients, partners and their carers. We provide a range of psychological therapies to help people cope with a range of health and emotional problems, such as adjustment to a diagnosis, co-morbid mood problems, disclosure and issues regarding sexual wellbeing or risk.

What is clinical psychology?

Clinical psychologists work with people in a variety of settings, most commonly in health centres, clinics and hospitals. They have academic and specialist professional training in the application of principles of psychology to health and emotional problems. They are not medical doctors and therefore do not prescribe drugs. Clinical psychologists use their psychological knowledge and understanding of behaviour, emotions, thoughts and experiences to help people with health-related problems, relationship and emotional difficulties.

What kinds of problems can clinical psychologists help with?

Clinical psychologists see individuals and their partners or families with many difficulties related to health problems. These may include problems such as:

  • adjustment to a diagnosis
  • anxiety or panic
  • depression or low mood
  • pain management
  • disclosure 
  • grief and loss
  • adherence to treatment
  • sexual problems or managing risk and sex
  • relationship difficulties related to your illness

How do I get to see a clinical psychologist?

If you are interested in meeting with a clinical psychologist, please speak to any member of the service about being referred.    

What do clinical psychologists do? 

After you and the clinical psychologist have assessed your current situation and problems you may decide to have a series of appointments with a member of the clinical psychology team to examine ways of addressing your difficulties. Clinical psychologists offer a range of psychological therapies and work with individuals, couples and groups.  The length and frequency of therapy is negotiated to suit individual needs.

Clinical psychology and you

Clinical psychology aims to provide a service to a client that is respectful of individual lifestyles, and sensitive to family, social and cultural issues.

If you are interested in finding out more about the clinical psychology service please feel free to talk to any member of the GHU staff.  

Clinical research unit at Grahame Hayton unit

The clinical research unit within the Grahame Hayton unit undertakes, leads and manages clinical trials within the rapidly changing areas of HIV, sexual health and all liver diseases. Our dedicated team of research health care providers offer a very high standard of care to patients from all backgrounds and ethnicities. These studies enable our patients to access cutting edge treatments through clinical trials that are not yet available through the NHS. Within a clinical drug trial, patients are monitored and investigated more rigorously than in a general clinic. We also manage smaller academic studies which help us to understand how the various diseases manifest and how we can then treat or prevent them. 

The clinical trials unit within the GHU is among the top five recruiting centres within Barts Health NHS Trust and is a leading research and clinical trials unit for HIV and liver disease therapies. 

All clinical trials undergo a rigorous approvals process and are all approved by independent ethics committees.

If you would be interested in a research study in the areas of HIV, sexual health or liver disease, please contact our team on 020 7377 7457 and we would be happy to discuss which study would be suitable for you and also discuss which studies are currently recruiting.

The SHARE Collaborative 

Established in the heart of east London’s diverse community, the SHARE Collaborative is a research centre embedded within one of the largest NHS Sexual Health and HIV services and a multidisciplinary university of international standing. 

SHARE brings together the expertise of Barts Health NHS Trust, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and Queen Mary University of London. 

In partnership with our local community and in collaboration with the wider health and care economy, SHARE aims to deliver high-quality research that drives health equity and ensures no one is left behind.

Who will I see?

Clinical nurse specialist (community services)

The HIV clinics at Newham, The Royal London and Whipps Cross hospitals provide care for over 4,000 HIV patients.

We have two HIV community clinical nurse specialists who visit patients at home if they live in Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest. Patients who live further afield can be referred to a local HIV community CNS.

A home visit, or regular home visits, might be necessary if a patient is unable to attend their regular clinic for physical or psychological reasons. Our CNSs are able to assess patients at home, take bloods, prescribe medications and arrange home delivery of medications.

The community HIV nurses do not replace district nurse or GP services but add to the existing community ones. They are able to help communicate between specialist and generic healthcare providers. 

If a patient requires rehabilitation, either from an acute centre or home, the HIV community nurses are able to arrange or instigate admission to Mildmay Hospital, and oversee the admission and discharge back into the community.

Referrals are accepted from patients, health, or social care professionals, or non-profit organisations.

Contact the team

  • For Tower Hamlets residents: 020 7377 7616
  • For Newham and Waltham Forest residents: 020 7363 8146/8939

Clinical nurse specialist (women’s health)

The women’s health service in the Grahame Hayton unit is run by a clinical nurse specialist.

The service offers cervical cytology tests, contraception, sexual health screening and advice on related health issues. This includes advice on fertility and planning a pregnancy. We can also provide advice to women whose partners attend the unit.

We also run a HIV antenatal clinic with dedicated specialist midwife and doctor.

Health adviser; partner notification and family testing

Health advisers are more common within sexual health clinics where the role is often about avoiding exposure to or reducing the risks of getting a sexually transmitted infection, it also involves supporting those who do get diagnosed with an infection and helping with partner notification.

At the Grahame Hayton unit, our health advisors provide help and support around disclosure and assisting with getting partners and children tested for HIV. This specialist role was created in recognition of the difficulties disclosure can still cause for many people living with HIV.   

Despite advances in both testing and treatment, we have still encountered cases where young adults have been diagnosed with late HIV infection where it is believed that the transmission has been vertical i.e. from mother to child. This may have happened for a number of reasons:

  • The young person was born outside of the UK and joined their parents during childhood and is therefore untested
  • A mother has been diagnosed after their children were born and not offered to have their children tested
  • A small number of women may not have been tested during pregnancy and therefore precautions to reduce mother to child transmission has not be possible or 
  • Parents have been fearful of discussing the issue of testing their children and assumed that because they were well they did not need testing.

Talking to our children and young people about testing and sexual health matters is never easy, whether we are living with HIV or not. Sometimes parents are comfortable with talking to their children and sometimes young people find it easier to talk to someone who is not their parents because it is less embarrassing.  

If you have any issues relating to your diagnosis; disclosing to partners, thinking about having a family, wanting to test your existing children or wanting to have safer sex with new partners, please make an appointment to meet with me. You can contact our health advisors via reception - they are available in the Grahame Hayton unit on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

STI testing signpost

Order a free STI test kit

If you have no symptoms you can order a free and confidential online STI test kit to complete at home.

You will need to provide a few details including your postal address, email address and UK mobile phone number. You will also be asked a few questions so that you get the right kit sent to you.

You can access a free test up to 4 times per year.

Order your kit today