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HIV treatment and support

We provide person-centred treatment and care to people who are affected by HIV in Medway and east Kent. Your GP or another health professional can refer you, or you can refer yourself if it’s easier for you.

You can expect a completely confidential service from us. Our aim is to make sure everyone we look after is listened to and helped to live well with HIV.

If you want to find out your status, testing for HIV is free, quick and easy.

Visit SH.UK to order a free self-sampling test kit. Your kit will be delivered in plain packaging directly to you or visit one of our clinics. Find your nearest clinic in Medway or Kent or contact the Sexual Health Service for more information and support.

Living with HIV

Modern treatment means people with HIV can enjoy long, healthy lives.

Once you are on effective medication and HIV becomes undetectable in your blood, you cannot pass the virus to others.

Find out more about living well with HIV including staying healthy or having a baby from the Terence Higgins Trust.

What we can support with

We can:

  • discuss and assess your physical and mental health needs
  • guide you to find and provide an effective treatment for HIV (antiretroviral drugs)
  • offer advice on diet, lifestyle, smoking, drug and alcohol use
  • offer advice on social issues such as housing, immigration and benefits
  • talk about your mood and help you to overcome loneliness, depression, anxiety or other difficulties
  • talk about your sexual health, offer testing for sexually-transmitted infections and advise you on relationships, sexual problems and pregnancy.

Talking together virtual support group and one-to-one peer support

Talking together is a friendly group, set up and run by people with HIV. This is a confidential group and very welcoming to new members who live in Kent or Medway. Come along, have a chat and get advice and support if you need it. The group meets on the first Tuesday of each month.

You can also talk one-to-one with a HIV peer supporter. This is someone who is living with HIV themselves who has been trained to offer support to others.

You can hear from some of the members of the group below, some of their names have been changed.

Steve who lives in Chatham and was diagnosed with HIV in 2018 said:

“One of the best things is just being able to talk to other people with HIV, about things that matter to you, whether you are newly diagnosed or been living with HIV for many years.”

Ben said:

“Being HIV positive doesn’t change me. HIV doesn’t define me. I hope I can be an example of hope to others, that life with HIV isn’t so bad.”

Sharon said:

“I haven’t shared with many people that I have HIV, and this can, at times, create a tension for myself when around others. During the group, I don’t have to hide this part of myself, and I have a freedom to share anything about my life with HIV or anything in general. I don’t have to worry about self-editing, or worrying I may slip out something out to do with HIV. Its great! I recommend the group to anyone living with HIV, and at all stages of your journey, whether, newly diagnosed or having lived with HIV for a while. There are members from all walks of life, all at differing stages or length of time living with HIV, so lots of personal knowledge and info on what it’s like for them. I find this really useful and comforting. As a woman it has been lovely for me to meet other women living with HIV. Since joining the group, I have become more relaxed about having HIV, and seeing others living well with it, and not being defined by HIV, can be a real beacon in the dark, as one can easily believe you’re the only one with it. But no, you’re not. This group is diverse and so very welcoming. You don’t have to have this journey of HIV by yourself, you have a choice, come along and meet us.”

Peter said:

“Being able to share my own experience and offering guidance to others in limbo is something I wish I could have had myself. This is a confidential service by someone who is living with the same condition and understands the issues.”

Ask your KCHFT nurse or doctor for more information, or to join the group contact:

Other sources of support

The following organisations offer support to people affected by HIV.

  • Positively UK
    A UK organisation which aims to protect the health and well-being of people living with HIV by providing tailored peer support, promoting positive attitudes and equitable access to health for people living with HIV.
  • Body and Soul
    A charity that has a focus in providing support for children, young people and families affected by HIV. They provide support programmes divided by age for children, teenagers and adults.
  • Terrence Higgins Trust
    Offer a range of online and offline services for people living with HUV, whether newly diagnosed or living with HIV for decades.
  • iBase
    i-Base is a treatment activist group committed to providing up to date information about HIV treatment to HIV positive people and to health care professionals. They produce lots of guides on HIV treatment in easy to understand language.
  • NAM aidsmap
    A charity based in the UK who aim to provide independent, clear and accurate information on HIV.

Contact us

Times and days of clinics in Kent can be found on the Kent County Council website. Times and days of clinics in Medway can be found on our Medway Sexual Health page.

Conversations with the Sexual Health Central Access Team are confidential but are recorded for quality purposes. You must be aged 13 years or older to use this service.

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