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 to use a condom for vaginal or anal 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