This section covers sexual health issues that go beyond HIV prevention, including the prevention and treatment of other sexually transmitted infections, contraception, sexual problems and relationship issues.

Sexual health: latest news

Sexual health resources

  • Condoms

    Condoms protect against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.Both female and male condoms are available.It’s important to follow the advice on how to use...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • How to get PrEP in the UK

    In England, PrEP is available to people taking part in the PrEP Impact trial.In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, PrEP is available through NHS sexual health clinics.It...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Oral sex

    Many people enjoy giving and receiving oral sex – kissing, licking or sucking another person’s genitals.The risk of getting HIV from performing oral sex on...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Bacterial vaginosis

    Women may get bacterial vaginosis when the balance of normal bacteria in their vagina becomes disrupted.It is common and various activities seem to increase the...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Emergency contraception and unwanted pregnancy

    For women taking HIV treatment, the intrauterine device (IUD) is the recommended method of emergency contraception.Women taking some anti-HIV drugs need to take a double dose of...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Contraception

    Your choice of contraception will depend on your situation and preferences.There are possible interactions between some hormonal contraceptives and some anti-HIV drugs. Your HIV treatment needs to be...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Transmission and viral load

    An undetectable viral load shows that HIV treatment is working well and that there is very little HIV in body fluids.In this situation, the risk...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Transmission facts

    HIV can only be passed on when one person's body fluids get inside another person. HIV can be passed on during sex without a condom,...

    From: The basics

    Information level Level 1
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

    PrEP is highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV. For PrEP to work well, it’s important to take the pills regularly.While PrEP can...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

    PEP involves taking a 28-day course of anti-HIV drugs, after possible exposure to HIV.Doctors will assess your risk of HIV infection before prescribing PEP.PEP is available from...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Sexual dysfunction

    ‘Sexual dysfunction’ includes loss of sexual desire, painful sex, and problems with erection or orgasm.Stress, health problems and heavy drinking can contribute to sexual dysfunction.Help is available...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Sexual health check-ups

    Looking after your sexual health is important for anyone, but particularly so if you are living with HIV. If you are sexually active, it is important to have...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • HIV & sex

    This booklet provides information on sexual health for people with HIV. ...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • HIV and having a baby

    Women living with HIV can give birth without passing on HIV to the baby.Your options for conception will depend on your health and your partner’s...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • HIV transmission

    The two main ways in which HIV is passed on are unprotected vaginal and anal sex.Condoms, PrEP and HIV treatment are effective ways of preventing...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Viral load and transmission – a factsheet for HIV-negative people

    People with HIV who are on treatment and have an undetectable viral load are extremely unlikely to pass on HIV.Large scientific studies have proven this.Not...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Viral load and transmission – a factsheet for people with HIV

    Effective HIV treatment reduces the amount of HIV in your body fluids.Having an undetectable viral load greatly reduces your chance of passing HIV on to...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • PrEP

    This briefing paper provides an overview of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for people planning, commissioning or providing HIV prevention activities in the UK. It does this by reviewing...

    From: HIV prevention briefing papers

  • Sex and HIV

    Sex, desire and pleasure need not stop when you have an HIV diagnosis. Women continue to be sexually active and to have fulfilling sexual and emotional relationships. Many...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Your next steps

    A booklet with information for people who’ve just found out they have HIV. ...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Sex

    Having HIV can affect people’s feelings about sex in many different ways. Some people become anxious about passing HIV on, or feel less desirable. While some people go...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • HIV treatment as prevention

    This briefing paper, produced by NAM for HIV Prevention England, describes the scientific evidence for HIV treatment as prevention and considers its implications for the UK....

    From: HIV prevention briefing papers

  • HIV & Pregnancy

    Personalised information about having a baby. (Smartphone version available.)...

    From: Resources

  • HIV & Contraception

    ...

    From: Resources

  • Post-exposure prophylaxis

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) has been in use, in healthcare settings, since 1988. Providing PEP after sexual exposure is more controversial....

    From: Preventing HIV

    Information level Level 4
  • Preventing HIV

    An essential resource providing evidence-based information on preventing HIV infection. ...

    From: Aidsmap 2.0

    Information level Level 4
  • Sexual activities

    This section provides detail on the risk of transmission during specific sexual activities, and outlines the available evidence on ‘harm reduction’ strategies such as withdrawal...

    From: HIV transmission & testing

    Information level Level 4

Sexual health features

Sexual health in your own words

Sexual health news from aidsmap

More news

Sexual health news selected from other sources

  • Ageism And Sexuality

    Older people are often stereotyped as non-sexual beings who should not, cannot, and do not want to have sexual relationships. Ageism prevents us to respect all forms of intimacy and sexual orientation in later life. Time to break the taboos!

    05 November 2018 | Ageing Equal
  • Sexual Health, Reproductive Health & HIV Policy eBulletin - September 2018

    The September issue of the Sexual Health & HIV Policy E-bulletin is available to read online. This issue covers the announcement by the Department of Health and Social Care to allow women to take misoprostol at home in England; a new audit on cuts to contraceptive services; and an e-feature on sex education in schools.

    28 September 2018 | FSRH
  • Dutch study ties HIV to erection problems in middle-aged men

    The researchers concluded that HIV infection itself was linked to a significantly increased risk for problems getting and maintaining an erection.

    27 March 2018 | CATIE
  • Why a fulfilling sexual life with HIV matters

    As International Women’s Day approaches, I believe now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to make a positive difference in sexual health and rights for women living with HIV. To do this, we need supportive social conditions in which women’s sexual needs and desires are not only respected but embraced. Although we pay most attention to preventing the transmission of HIV to intimate partners, women’s sexual concerns go far beyond condom use. We need to talk about the sexual changes they experience and how these individual vulnerabilities are linked to structural inequalities.

    09 March 2018 | The Conversation
  • Understanding that undetectable equals untransmissible improves people's sex lives

    People who understood it was impossible to pass on HIV with an undetectable viral load experienced intimacy and connection with their sexual partners.

    14 February 2018 | Gay Star News
  • Consent: the unspoken problem on the chemsex scene

    “It’s hard because you totally blame yourself, you totally think that it’s your fault. You think that you shouldn’t have gone home with this guy, you shouldn’t have been in that club, you shouldn’t have taken something. It all seems valid in your own head but at the end of the day, it’s not your fault.”

    23 October 2017 | GMFA
  • Consent and the gay community

    When was the last time you were groped in a bar? Did you tell him it wasn’t acceptable or did you just let it go? According to our survey, 62% of you have been touched or groped in a bar or club without your express permission. And, unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    20 October 2017 | GMFA
  • Guidelines for the sexual and reproductive health of people living with HIV - consultation open

    These BHIVA / BASHH / FSRH guidelines are an update to the 2007 UK guidelines for the management of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of people living with HIV infection (PLWH). They are open for consultation to Friday 8 December 2017.

    13 October 2017 | BHIVA
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Butts

    Bryan Kutner believes that people need basic information about anal health so they can advocate for themselves, and that healthcare providers need skills to broach this topic with their clients, to encourage disclosure by framing anal sexuality in terms of pleasure and health, rather than just harm.

    22 August 2017 | HIV Plus
  • The real sex lives of gay men - GMFA's biggest survey

    GMFA has just conducted its biggest-ever sex survey for the 150th edition of its resource FS. Ian Howley, Chief Executive of GMFA, said: “With over 3,000 responses it gives a fascinating snapshot of the kind of sex that gay and bisexual men in the UK are having, what they enjoy and what they are doing, or not doing, to maintain their sexual health.”

    13 April 2017 | GMFA
More news

Our information levels explained

  • Short and simple introductions to key HIV topics, sometimes illustrated with pictures.
  • Expands on the previous level, but also written in easy-to-understand plain language.
  • More detailed information, likely to include medical and scientific language.
  • Detailed, comprehensive information, using medical and specialised language.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.