Support for people living with HIV

If you have questions about HIV, social care or sexual health and you live in Newcastle, please contact the HIV Specialist Team or you can contact the health service.

HIV is among a number of sexually transmitted or blood-borne infections.

How can we help?

We are here to listen and provide support and information about how you can manage your health, treatments, relationships and life in general. We will take into consideration any aspect of your day to day life that you may find difficult and might impact on your ability to manage your health and wellbeing.

If you contact us, we will explain how we will record your personal information and keep it confidential. Our HIV and sexual health services include:

  • Clear information about HIV and where to get treatments.
  • Information about safer sex, condoms and contraception services.
  • MESMAC Newcastle, for the sexual health of gay and bisexual men, including young gay men.
  • HIV welfare rights advice and support including information about benefits and employment rights.
  • Information about drop-in or other support service.
  • We can help signpost you to other agencies who could support you into work or to develop further skills.
  • Equipment for and adaptations to your home related to your health and care needs.
  • Counselling and support around living with HIV, talking to us about having HIV and its effects on your life choices and personal circumstances.
  • You may want to talk to us about managing your medication at home or at work. We provide some of these services with colleagues in voluntary organisations and the health service.

How can you apply for help?

You, a partner, friend or relative can contact us for service information with your agreement. We will talk about your needs. Most people are given our telephone numbers when they learn they are HIV positive and contact us directly.
 
When you first find out you are HIV positive, we can arrange for you to meet an HIV specialist social worker. We aim to respond to your general enquiries within 72 hours and to work out what you need within 28 days. To do this, we may need to contact your doctors and other services, with your agreement.

What is an assessment?

We would like to hear how you manage living with HIV and how it affects your day-to-day activities. We can meet you at home, hospital or where you choose. You can bring a partner or friend with you.

If you have any personal or practical difficulties, we can see if we can help you. Partners, family or friends who give you substantial, planned care can ask for an assessment of what they need.

What happens after your assessment?

We will agree your care plan with you. This will set out what we can do to help you and how we will do it. This may include Direct Payments that allow you to organise and buy your own services. If you don't want a copy of your care plan at home, we can keep copies on our files where you can read them at any time.  We will regularly look at your care plan and will try to keep in contact with you when you attend hospital appointments or as you wish.

What if you don't qualify for any services?

There may be times when we cannot help you. Wherever possible we will put you in touch with other organisations that can help.

Will you be charged for services?

We will give you up to date information about our charges.  We do not charge for an assessment or advice and support including counselling and Welfare Rights.  If you need any alterations or adaptations to your home, we will talk to you about any charges before any work is agreed and starts.

Need more information?

Adult Services contact points:

Shine (Sexual Health In Newcastle) is a community women’s health project based in Newcastle Upon Tyne offering support and services for women 16 and over.

Telephone: 0191 277 2050

MESMAC Newcastle, for the sexual health of gay and bisexual men, including young gay men.

Telephone: 0191 233 1333

HIV Specialist Team
Royal Victoria Infirmary
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP
Telephone: 0191 282 4463 - ask for an HIV social worker
Telephone: 0191 282 3873 - HIV Specialist Welfare Rights Officer

Other organisations:

Blue Sky Trust (HIV voluntary Sector)
Telephone: 07989 155 175
Email: info@blueskytrust.org

Department of Infection and Tropical Medicine
Ward 19, Royal Victoria Infirmary
Telephone: 0191 233 6161 extension 23106

Sexual Health @ New Croft Centre
Telephone: 0191 229 2999

NHS Direct
Telephone: 0845 45 46 47

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