Sexual pleasure and HIV prevention

This week is Sexual Health Week in the UK. Organised by the charity FPA, the theme this year is sexual pleasure and wellbeing.

What does good sex mean to you?

We probably don’t say it enough – pleasure is important! For most of us, having sex is all about pleasure, fun or intimacy, and that is true whether you are living with HIV or not.

Glossary

anxiety

A feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, which can be mild or severe. Anxiety disorders are conditions in which anxiety dominates a person’s life or is experienced in particular situations.

FPA is encouraging everyone to think and talk about sexual pleasure this week. What’s important to you, what makes you feel good? What can you do to improve your sex life? Having HIV shouldn’t stop you having great sex, and it’s never too late to start thinking about your sexual wellbeing.

New HIV prevention factsheets

Maybe you are living with HIV or maybe your last HIV test was negative. Either way, worrying about HIV can get in the way of an enjoyable sexual experience. Finding an HIV prevention method that suits you can help you to feel confident and in control of your sexual health.

This week, we’ve published new and updated titles about HIV prevention in our factsheet series, including:

These factsheets are designed to be read and shared online, or you can download them as printable PDFs.

Used consistently and correctly, condoms are a very effective way of preventing HIV transmission during sex, as well as preventing other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) being passed on, and unplanned pregnancy. But using condoms doesn’t work for everyone all the time. HIV prevention options have moved on in recent years with important research into the effect of HIV treatment on the transmission of HIV and on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Many people living with HIV find that understanding how effective HIV treatment reduces their risk of passing HIV on can provide relief from anxiety and allow them to enjoy sex more. This was illustrated in recently published research conducted with gay men in Canada.

If you have any questions about HIV transmission, sexual health and wellbeing, we’d recommend you talk to your HIV or sexual health clinic for personalised information and advice.