There are various ways you can reduce risk of harm while having fun:
- Condoms are the best way to safeguard your sexual health by providing a barrier to infection
- Used properly condoms are great at preventing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV
- Male condoms come in different thicknesses, shapes and sizes but all are effective providing they are good quality, look out for one or both of these symbols,
- To be at their most effective condoms should also be the right size: too small can be uncomfortable and more likely to burst; too big and it’s more likely to come off during sex.
- The packet should give you an indication of size:
- Smaller condoms are marketed as ‘snug’, ‘trim’ or ‘close fit’
- Larger ones are often described as ‘XL’
- Some people prefer to use thicker condoms for extra protection, especially for anal sex, but all thicknesses will offer protection most of the time
Contact us for details of how to get free condoms or look online where there’s a huge selection
0151 237 3990
If you are into party drugs/slamming, please read on.
There are lots of reasons people are using needles to inject themselves:
- Sometimes this might be to enhance sexual experience, often called ‘chemsex’
- Some people inject drugs to enhance their body appearance, or to workout harder at the gym, using steroids
- Remember not to share and use new injecting equipment every time.
All of the above carry risks of HIV transmission, especially where needles are shared or not disposed of safely. We can help you access safer injecting packs and advice.
Reducing risk with other drugs/chems
Drinking and/or taking drugs can make you more likely to take risks. There are various ways that you can reduce risks:
- Some combinations of drink and drugs (or chems) can be particularly dangerous – such as taking GHB and drinking – it’s good to know what you’re taking and check this out first
- If you feel unsafe at any time while you are on chems, make sure you get to the A&E department of your nearest hospital for support
- If you are injecting (or slamming) make sure you read the section about safer injecting .
- People can often feel down and depressed after taking chems or drinking, if this feels really bad there are sources of support available – phone Sahir House if you need to talk to someone and we can help you find services for you or check out one of the links below, remember, chemsex can never be 100% safe and carry other serious health risks.
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV (PEP)
There are drugs that you can take if you have been exposed to HIV that might stop you getting the virus, provided you get the drugs quickly. These are called PEP (which stands for Post Exposure Prophylaxis)
- You can access PEP (a course of HIV meds) within 72 hours to reduce your risk of HIV infection – though this Is more likely to protect you the more quickly you access this
- You can get PEP from any A&E department at any time of day or from a GU clinic during their normal opening hours
More recently it has been shown that similar drugs can be taken to stop you getting HIV before you are exposed to risk. These drugs are called PrEP
- PrEP is a drug which if taken regularly can protect you from getting HIV
- Although not yet available on the NHS there are websites that help people buy PrEP from a trustworthy source, such as: