HIV

 

HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency virus

 

• A quarter of people who are infected with this virus do not know that they have it

 

• People may have no symptoms for a long time after they are infected

 

• HIV weakens the body’s immune system and makes it less able to fight infections

 

• In the UK HIV is most common in men who have sex with men

 

• There is no cure but the virus can be controlled with a combination of antiviral drugs

 

• The best way to prevent HIV is by using condoms every time you have sex

 

If you have not used a condom or it has broken or come off then there are medicines that can be given to you that can help prevent HIV

 

• These medicines are called PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis

 

• These are only given when the risk of HIV is high and this will be decided by a doctor

 

• PEP needs to be started within 3 days (72hours) of the sexual contact and you can get it at the sexual health clinic or at Accident & Emergency departments