Getting HIV treatment and care

Michael Carter

This section provides information on the health services available to people with HIV. This includes HIV and other specialist services, and also primary care services, which can play an important role in your healthcare.  

A number of healthcare professionals with different specialisms and skills will be involved in your care. You’ll certainly see a specialist HIV doctor, and it’s also likely that your healthcare team at an HIV clinic will include specialist HIV nurses and pharmacists. 

Many people with HIV in the UK nowadays can expect to have a normal life expectancy. This is very good news, but it does mean they’re living long enough to develop diseases that develop as a normal part of the ageing process (see HIV treatment ). Non-HIV-related diseases are an increasingly important cause of illness in people with HIV. This means that from time to time you may also see hospital doctors and other healthcare professions who have specialisms in other conditions, such as cardiovascular or kidney disease (see Symptoms and illnesses).

GPs are also playing an increasing role in the care of people with HIV. Although GPs won’t deal with your specialist HIV care or prescribe anti-HIV drugs, they can look after your day-to-day healthcare needs and when appropriate will also be able to refer you to see specialist hospital doctors. 

Everyone with HIV can expect to receive fair, non-discriminatory care and treatment, in keeping with their medical needs. All healthcare professionals and other staff working in hospitals, GPs’ surgeries and other healthcare settings are bound by professional standards and other codes of conduct. These cover equality of access to services, non-discrimination and patient confidentiality. Many people have good relationships with their healthcares teams, but sometimes things do go wrong. This section provides information on the actions you can take.

Contact NAM to find out more about the scientific research and information used to produce this section.

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.