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Shielding text messages sent in error to people living with HIV, response from the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)

Wednesday 8 April 2020

We understand that some people living with HIV have received text messages advising them to shield and completely self-isolate for three months.

We are currently investigating who received these messages and why this has happened. In the meantime, the British HIV Association has contacted all members and added a message to the BHIVA website to reassure people living with well controlled HIV that they are not at any greater risk of COVID-19.

There is no evidence, nor guidance, that people with well controlled HIV should shield. BHIVA and THT recommend that only people whose immune system is known to be very weak as shown by a CD4 count of less than 50, or who have had a serious illness due to suppression of the immune system in the last 6 months, should be encouraged to follow the shielding advice. These are anxious times for everyone, but we are urging people living with HIV not to panic. We will continue to monitor the latest developments and provide updated guidance if and when necessary.

For further information from BHIVA please contact Jo Josh on +44 (0) 7787 530 922 or and for Terrence Higgins Trust, Liam Beattie on +44 (0) 7957 812691 or