The British HIV Association (BHIVA) and Terence Higgins Trust (THT) have produced a statement in light of the most recent government guidance, for those living with HIV. This can be accessed here
HIV testing week
HIV testing week runs from the 1st February this year and aims to encourage people to consider risk and test for HIV. This year public health has also funded a limited amount of combined HIV and Syphilis home testing kits which can be ordered free from the 18th January so click on the image or here to take a look.
For Men who have sex with Men
This section is still being developed and suggestions to improve this are always welcome, however please find some useful, hopefully, information below. If you think other information should be included then please use the contact us tab to provide suggestions.
Time to test
Lockdown has provided a unique opportunity to seriously reduce levels of HIV infection and prevent spread.
"We think there may be less and less people around who are super-infectious," says Dr Gary Whitlock, who works at London's Dean Street clinic, which diagnoses a quarter of all the HIV cases in gay men in the UK.
"If they start treatment, or become non-infectious, they can't pass it to anybody so it's a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to get people at high risk of HIV to test."
Here at the sexual health clinic we are still offering support and if you would like to talk to us about getting tested then get in touch.
The Brunswick centre offer a range of services aimed at HIV prevention and support, including provision of services for those affected by HIV. They have offices in Huddersfield and Halifax and run a number of support groups and workshops. To find out more about what they do and how they can help visit their website by clicking here or take a look at their latest news here.
A partnership between the Basement Project and Humankind to deliver a service that support individuals suffering substance misuse to reduce harm caused and progress towards recovery. The aim is to work with people to support them to take back control of their lives by having a tailored programme of support which suits them. for more information look at their website here
What is Chemsex?
Chemsex is a commonly used term on sexual networking sites relating to a specific use of recreational drugs in a sexual context, and is separate to the use of recreational drugs for other purposes. Substances are used to facilitate or enhance sex.
Are there risks associated with Chemsex?
Chemsex can be associated with reduced inhibitions leading to more partners and an increased risk of STI's, along with increased likelihood of shared needles.
Where can I get more information on Chemsex?
The following links can provide much more information on this topic;
Brunswick Centre, click here
GMFA Gay Men's Sexual Health Charity, click here
Terrance Higgins Trust, click here
HIV Drug interactions website, click here
Slam packs provide a set of resources to reduce risk and help you stay safe. These can be obtained from the Sexual Health Service by asking at Broad Street reception or via the HIV clinic in Huddersfield or through freepost where kits are provided by Brunswick Centre. To order a pack click here, or on the image below
What is PEP?
PEP stands for Post-exposure prophylaxis and is a treatment that can prevent HIV infection after the virus has entered a person's body. The treatment involves taking HIV medication for a month and is highly effective if taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex. However, if the full course is not taken consistently for 28 days, or started after 72 hours (3days) then PEP will not be effective.
Where Can I get PEP
PEP is free on the NHS, although an assessment will need to be made by a doctor or nurse and then depending on risk PEP will be supplied. If you are concerned that you might have acquired HIV then please contact the sexual health service on 01422 261370, or A&E, to enable an assessment and treatment to begin as soon as possible.
What is PrEP?
PrEP is medication, containing tenofovir and emtricitabine which can be taken by HIV negative in order to reduce chances of acquiring the infection. NHS England have announced a trial of this medication and if you would like to know more about this please contact the Clinic on 01422 261370
Can I self-fund PrEP?
You can buy PrEP privately but as with any medication it is important to ensure you purchase from reputable sites to avoid counterfeit medication which could leave you exposed to risk. Prepster have produced a guide on buying PrEP online and this can be accessed by clicking here. Costs are approximately £40 - £50 per month.
PrEP offers great protection but you still need to be monitored regularly aswell to keep in the best health, so you will need blood monitoring every 3 months which can be freely provided by the sexual health service.
There are over a hundred different types of HPV than can infect skin and mucous membranes, although most of these cause no symptoms and clear up without any intervention. However, some are associated with cancers and genital warts. The best way to protect yourself against this is vaccination which is offered here at the sexual health service, just give us a ring for an appointment or call in to a queue and wait clinic. See our opening times page for opening time details.
If you would like a little more information on HPV and the vaccine then Public Health England have produced a useful leaflet which can be found HERE