Bob had been anxious about his HIV status for many years. His anxiety came from the fact that he now knew that a friend, he used to share needles for injecting drugs, was HIV positive.
Bob came to Positive East’s HIV testing clinic at Walthamstow Library. In his initial discussion with the person staffing the outreach he said he had been building up the courage to take a test for months. He chose the outreach clinic at the Library as it was free, easy to get to and he did not need to book an appointment.
The Charity uses a finger prick test which gives a result in minutes. Should the result be a reactive (positive) we link the person into a sexual health/HIV clinic where they get a confirmatory HIV test and access treatment and care.
Bob’s test result was reactive (positive) which he said made him have mixed emotions. He was very upset at the news. He also felt a sense of relief that he finally knew his HIV status and could start to do something about it. He was aware about the damage HIV could cause to him if left untreated.
Emotional support from shared experience
The team member who tested Bob was themselves HIV positive. They shared this fact with him and he took comfort in hearing about their experience in being able to live well with HIV. Our team member was able to provide a high level of emotional support which Bob very much appreciated.
We linked Bob into the HIV and Sexual Health service at the Royal London Hospital. Bob received his confirmatory test and started on HIV treatment.