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Helping Bob with a positive HIV diagnosis

Published: 21 July 2021
Filed under: Sexual health case studies

Bob had been worried about his HIV status for years. His anxiety was because he'd learned that a friend he shared needles with to inject drugs was HIV positive.

Positive East

Bob came to Positive East’s HIV testing clinic at Walthamstow Library. He told the staff member on outreach that he'd been building up the courage to take a test for months. He chose the library outreach clinic as it was free, easy to get to and he didn't need an appointment.

The charity uses a finger prick test which gives a result in minutes. If the result is reactive (positive) we link the person into a sexual health/HIV clinic. There they get a confirmatory HIV test and access treatment and care.

Bob’s test 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 of the damage HIV could cause him if left untreated.

Emotional support from shared experience

The team member who tested Bob was also HIV positive. They told Bob this and he took comfort in hearing about their experience of living well with HIV. Our team member was able to give 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.