How to Prevent HIV

The main way is to make sure you use a condom when you have sex and if you inject drugs ensure that you do not share needles or equipment.

If you have had unprotected sex with someone you think may have HIV it may be necessary to be prescribed Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEPSE). It can be prescribed in a sexual health clinic or Accident and Emergency department.


PEPSE is a 28 day course of HIV medication that must be started within 72 hours post exposure, but ideally as soon as possible.

It works by reducing the risk of transmission.
It can be prescribed in a sexual health clinic or Accident and Emergency.
You will initially be given 3-5 days of treatment and you will be followed up in the sexual health clinic.

If you are concerned you may need PEPSE, please contact 0300 421 6500 during the hours of 8am – 4pm to arrange an urgent review by a clinician. 

If our service is closed please attend your local Accident and Emergency.


We now provide PrEP, this stands for Pre Exposure Prophylaxis.

Pre – you take the medicines BEFORE you have sex

Exposure – the risk of catching HIV

Prophylaxis – a way of preventing infection

PrEP is a single pill that contains two drugs.

You should consider it if you do not always use condoms for high-risk sex (e.g. unprotected sex with someone who could have HIV and is not on treatment).  

If you want to discuss this further we can, or if you want an online resource please click the link

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