1. Get and stay on antiretroviral treatment. This treatment can keep you healthy for many years and reduces the amount of the HIV virus in your blood. For more information about treatments and their effects click here. To find out where your local HIV services are click here.

2. Use condoms consistently and correctly. For more on the benefits of condoms, how to use them and where to get them FREE, click here.

3. Choose less risky sexual behaviours. Anal and vaginal penetrative sex is the most risky. Find out about fun alternatives here.

4. Speak to your partner about Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP / PEP). If the HIV positive partner is taking antiretroviral drugs correctly then the risk of contracting HIV is lower. However, it does NOT mean that there is no risk. If a sexual partner has been exposed to the infection then it is vital to seek medical help as soon as possible to maximise effectiveness of emergency treament.

5. Get tested for STIs regularly. If you are having sex, but not in a long-term relationship OR in a long-term relationship but sexually active outside the partnership then it is important to get tested at least once a year. STIs can have long term health consequences, so detecting and treating them is essential. See our information about some of the most common STIs, their effects and treatment options. 

If you live in the South West, click here to find your nearest testing clinic, or Click here for the NHS sexual health services finder.