HIV IS FALLING IN LONDON’S GAY MEN.
WE CAN GET IT TO ZERO.
We have finally found the tools to beat HIV. We’ll do it if we all act together. Take the Plan ZERO challenge to find out which will work best for you.
Have you ever tested HIV positive?
It’s recommended that everyone with HIV starts treatment as soon as possible. There are 2 reasons for this:
It’s better for your long-term health
Once the levels of HIV in your blood are ‘undetectable’, you cannot pass the virus
If you’re not already on treatment, ask your doctor about the different options. In the UK, everyone with HIV is entitled to free HIV treatment and care
Are you in an exclusive relationship?
where you only have sex with each other?
Sex without condoms is an option if you’re in an exclusive relationship. First of all, you both need to test for HIV, and then you can act based on the results. We recommend you use condoms until you have both had your results
There is no risk if both your HIV tests are negative (unless one of you catches HIV from someone else later)
If both of you test HIV positive, check with your HIV doctor if it’s OK for you to have condomless sex together
If just one of you tests HIV positive there are a few options to choose from:
You could use condoms for anal sex
The person with HIV could start treatment. Once levels of HIV in the blood are undetectable, they cannot pass the virus to others
The HIV-negative person could use PrEP medicine to protect themselves (See PrEP section)
If you and your partner have sex without condoms, you should have an agreement about sex with other people. It’s really important that you can be honest with each other as you’ll both need to retest if you have condomless sex with other people.
Do you usually use condoms
for anal sex?
Using condoms every time you have anal sex is very effective protection from HIV. They also protect you from many other sexually transmitted infections
If you don’t use a condom or it breaks, your sexual health clinic can supply a course of post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment which has a high chance of protecting you. If you’ve been at risk and are not sure whether you need PEP click here
PEP involves taking HIV medicines for 4 weeks after you have sex. You should ideally start it within 24 hours, and definitely within 72 hours of unprotected sex. If we are closed, you can get a starter pack from any hospital A&E (emergency) department
Would you consider taking PrEP MEDICINE
to protect you from catching HIV?
(Pre Exposure Prophylaxis)
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) involves taking HIV medicine before you have sex. If you take it correctly, it provides very good protection against catching HIV. PrEP pills contain 2 drugs, Emtricitabine and Tenofovir. PrEP is available on the NHS.
For more information or to see if you need it, see our PrEP page, ask a member of staff or watch the PrEP videos on our YouTube channel. Pick up a copy of the i-base PrEP leaflet in the clinic, or read it online at www.i-base.info.
If you have condomless anal sex and take no precautions, you are at high risk of catching HIV. If you have HIV, it is important to know as soon as possible. There’s still time for you to reduce the harm to your body.
If you regularly have condomless anal sex without precautions, we recommend you test for HIV at least every 3 months.
Some experts think that if there was ever a cure for HIV, it would most likely work in people who start HIV medicine in the very earliest stages of infection.
You’ll be most infectious to others in the first couple of months after catching HIV. It’s thought that half of the UK’s HIV is caught from someone who has recently been infected. Starting treatment and controlling the HIV reduces the risk of passing the infection. People on effective HIV treatment cannot pass their HIV to others.
In the first few weeks after catching HIV, you may feel unwell. You might develop flu like symptoms or a body rash. If that happens to you, come and see a doctor right away. Let us know you’re feeling ill so that we can run special tests. We are here to help. Don’t have sex until you’ve been given the all clear.
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