COVID-19 and HIV

The British HIV Association states that there is no evidence that people living with HIV who maintain suppressed viral load are at a greater risk of catching COVID-19. This is because people on HIV treatment with a good CD4 and undetectable viral load are not usually considered to have a “weakened immune system”. People most at risk of serious illness and death are the elderly and people with long-term medical conditions such as lung disease, kidney disease and diabetes. People with CD4 count lower than 200 and those who are not undetectable are however assumed to be a high-risk group too.

How it works

In summary:

  • People with CD4 >200 and undetectable on ART are considered at no greater risk than the general population; follow general advice.
  • People with CD4 <200, detectable viral load or not on ART may be at higher risk of severe illness; follow general advice.
  • People with a CD4 count <50 or opportunistic illness in last 6 months; follow shielding advice for extremely vulnerable.

The HIV i-base website is a good source of regularly updated information about HIV & COVID-19. Click HERE to have a look.

River House services

Food Services

+ Our Food Bank has been scaled up and volunteers deliver weekly food parcels across London.

+ We’re offering a limited Personal Shopper service for members who have to self-isolate or Shield because of their age, weakened immune system, or underlying health conditions.

+ We’re also able to refer members to local Food Banks and to Local Authority support services.


+ We’re currently offering one-to-one peer-support by phone – for our more vulnerable or isolated members.

Welfare support

+ We’re able to undertake welfare benefits casework – by phone, email, video-call and post. Please don’t turn up at our door though!

+ Similarly, we’re offering a limited small personal grants casework service, using the same methods.


+ Neuro-linguistic Programming is available by phone or video-call.

+ Similarly Psychotherapeutic Counselling.


We hope to be able to add to this over the next few weeks – so please check back again.

Phone us on 0208 741 5733 or Email