Changing healthcare provider

If you are moving home within Scotland, from elsewhere in the United Kingdom or from overseas:

  • Before leaving your existing area, ask your doctor to refer you to the HIV clinic closest to your new home.
  • Remember to ask your existing clinic for at least three months’ supply of medications before leaving.
  • Emergency treatment, sexual health checks and HIV testing are all free. HIV medications from your NHS HIV clinic should be free of charge to you. Do not delay HIV testing, sexual health screening or registering with your HIV clinic for fear of payment charges.
  • Keep taking your medications as prescribed despite the pressure of moving. Don’t miss doses.
  • Make a clinic appointment and attend your new specialist HIV treatment service.
  • Take any medications or other information and documents with you to your appointment.
  • Ask about registering with a General Practitioner (GP), and register early because your GP will often be the first contact for you and your family for health care.
  • If you are on methadone for a drug problem, then you must register with a General Practitioner for a prescription to take to the local chemist or pharmacy. If you need clean needles and syringes for injecting, find your nearest exchange. Visit Scottish Drug Services for more information.
  • Contact a local voluntary agency as they will be able to provide you with any other information.
  • If you’re moving to the UK from overseas and coming to live in Scotland, you can access HIV medication for free, however, some people may have to pay for additional fees.
  • There is information on the Scottish Government website. Do not be deterred from seeking specialist health care, as clinics are professional, welcoming and treatment is free. See Scottish Government Overseas Visitors FAQs.


People with HIV are living longer and healthier lives. HIV is no longer a life threatening illnesses if treatment is sought. Therefore, life expectancy is in many cases no different to that of people without HIV.

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