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Ending Homophobia,

Empowering People

Registered Charity No.1070904


BOmb a guide to hiv

for gay and bisexual men

2008/09 EDITION

can you tell who is living with


Neither can we. in major UK cities, 1 in 10 gay men are living with HIV.

You might not think it affects you - or maybe you just don’t want to talk about it. If you are a sexually active gay or bisexual man, chances are you have already come into contact with the virus - but you might not know it. The information in this booklet aims to help you understand how HIV affects you and the men you have sex with. HIV isn’t going to disappear, but knowing more about it could make it seem less daunting.

It’s surprising to think that HIV has only been around since the 80s. Thankfully, things are much different now. We know a lot more about HIV and how to manage it, which means people living with HIV can live longer, healthier lives. HIV is no longer the ‘death sentence’ it once was. However, just because things have changed it doesn’t mean we don’t need to worry about HIV. HIV still remains incurable, and is ultimately a life long chronic infection. With 1 in 10 gay men living with HIV in major cities such as Manchester, it is likely that many of us are living with HIV, or know of someone who is (whether we know it or not). Gay men are disproportionately affected by HIV and there has been a significant increase in infection rates amongst young men over the last decade. Whatever your age or HIV status, the reality is that HIV is part of our community and can affect every part of our lives – our health, our families, our friends, our sex, and our relationships. HIV has and will continue to change our lives. This booklet is your essential guide to HIV. Whether HIV affects us directly or indirectly, lets acknowledge it. Let’s not live in ignorance

what are hiv & aids? HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that weakens the immune system, leaving us open to infection.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is caused by HIV. AIDS is generally used to describe the latter stages of HIV infection when the immune system has stopped working effectively,and the person develops a life threatening illness(es) such as pneumonia. You cannot get infected with AIDS. You can however be infected with HIV which could then develop into AIDS. Specialists now prefer to use the term ‘advanced’ or ‘late stage’ HIV infection.

how is hiv transmitted? TRANSMISSION

Is when a HIV negative person is exposed to HIV and is infected with the virus, becoming HIV positive.


Is when HIV infected bodily fluids come into contact with a HIV negative person’s blood stream. Not every case of exposure will result in the transmission of HIV. In order for HIV transmission to occur there needs to be the following: Sufficient HIV in bodily fluids to cause infection: Sufficient HIV can be found in: • • • • •

Anal mucus Blood Semen Precum Vaginal fluid

Fluids such as tears, saliva, sweat and urine do not contain sufficient quantities of the virus to cause transmission. A way for the virus to get into the body: a) Directly into the bloodstream e.g. Through damaged skin, injecting equipment. b) Absorption through mucous membranes –found in the anus, throat and foreskin/ head of penis If you remove one of the factors, transmission cannot take place. Remember, condoms are the most effective way of removing the route of the virus into the body.

Contrary to some things you may hear, acquiring HIV is not inevitable for men who have sex with other men. HIV is not easily transmitted, but if you are having unprotected anal sex and do not know your partners HIV status you could be at high risk of coming into contact with the virus. Other ways include: Using needles or syringes If someone with HIV has already used them, there is a risk of transmission. Always use clean needles and syringes. Sharing sex toys Using a new condom and washing sex toys before using on a different person will reduce the risk. Fisting Any sexual activity which can lead to cuts in the lining of the arse can increase the risk of transmission. Plenty of water based lube should be used, and for added protection gloves can be worn. Unprotected oral sex Although small, there is a risk of getting HIV through unprotected oral sex, especially if you have bleeding gums or sores in your mouth. Unprotected vaginal sex

other factors

that may also increase the risk of HIV transmission

Having another Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) If sexually active it is a good idea to go for regular sexual health check ups. Use of recreational drugs People can lose their inhibitions when taking drugs and this may lead to people taking more risks when having sex. Certain substances such as poppers can facilitate longer and rougher sex, and could increase the opportunity for HIV to get into your bloodstream. The first three months after infection When a person first becomes infected with HIV, their viral load is higher than at any other time. The higher a person’s viral load, the more likely it is that HIV transmission could occur.


Why is unprotected anal sex the most common route of HIV infection amongst gay men? The lining of the arse provides a good route for HIV infection as it is designed to absorb liquid, and so it provides a direct route for the virus to get into the blood stream. Because of its function, the arse does not need to be damaged for HIV transmission to occur. Even from the gentlest of fucking there is likely to be some minor bleeding. This can be increased by not using enough lube, or when the arse isn’t properly relaxed. Anal mucus contains a higher concentration of HIV than blood, and this level still remains high even if the person is on treatment for HIV. Blood may or may not be present during anal sex, yet anal mucus is always there. The cock also provides a route for HIV to get into the body. The inside of the foreskin and head of the cock can absorb HIV and do not need to be damaged for transmission to occur. Whether you are a top or a bottom, unprotected anal sex is a high risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. However, if you and your partner are sure you are both HIV negative, there is no risk of HIV transmission. At least one person needs to be HIV positive for transmission to take place.

1 in 3 gay men living with HIV are unaware of their status. Do you know yours? What symptoms should you be looking out for? A lot of people do not have any symptoms when they become infected with HIV. Other people may have a flu like illness, aching muscles or joints, develop a rash, have swollen glands or have night sweats. However, we can get these symptoms without having HIV. Therefore, the only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to go for a test.

your sex...

...your responsibility The sex we have is ultimately up to ourselves, and the word sex means different things to different people. The term ‘safer sex’ also has a variety of meanings, and while one person may regard it as always using condoms, another may regard it as pulling out before cumming. Many people will say that sex without a condom feels much better, but it is worth remembering that you only have to have one unprotected shag to end up putting yourself at risk of acquiring HIV or any other STI. The reality is that unprotected anal sex is a high-risk sexual act in terms of HIV transmission, and is the most common route of infection amongst gay men. Even with all the medical advances surrounding HIV, condoms still remain the most effective way of preventing its transmission (unless you abstain from penetrative sex altogether – which is not the aim of this guide!).

condoms You have probably heard it 100 times, but condoms are still the most effective way of preventing the transmission of HIV and other STIs.

Here are a few tips that may make condom use easier: Be prepared Always carry condoms and lube with you, even if you’re not looking for sex, it doesn’t mean you’re ‘easy’, it means you know how to look after yourself. Talk to your partner(s) You will probably find it easier than you think. If you have concerns about having safer sex, the chances are, your partner(s) will have too. Stop before it’s too late You don’t have to have anal sex if you don’t want to. If you’ve forgotten condoms, don’t do something you may regret. There’ll always be another time and there are plenty of other things you can do.

condom tips

Whether you have been using condoms for years or have recently become sexually active, here are a few tips on using condoms: •

Be careful not to put a condom on inside out. Pinch the teat at the end to expel air then roll firmly down the penis with the other hand being careful not to snag the rubber on any jewellery, nails or rough skin. With rubber condoms, never use oil-based products like Baby oil or Vaseline. Oil based lubes dissolve latex rubber and can cause condoms to break. Silicone and water based lubes are the best. Use plenty of lube. Without enough lubrication, condoms can stick causing friction and tearing. Boys aren’t as moist as girls down there, and spit wont do the job properly.

Don’t put lube on your cock before putting on a condom; this can make it too slippy and prone to sliding off. Put it outside the condom and inside the arse.

If you’re involved in a marathon session (anything over 30 minutes qualifies as a world record attempt) change the condom as it will be stressed and more likely to break.

Condoms can get left behind when you withdraw after cumming. To prevent this from happening, form a secure ring around the condom at the base of your cock and hold on as you pull out.

If you are unsure about any of the above, it is best to follow the instructions which come with your condoms.

negotiating safer sex Some people decide not to use condoms. There are a variety of reasons for this; some men think that their sexual partner(s) would tell them if they needed to use condoms, some men think that they aren’t at risk because HIV is something that happens to men outside their social and sexual circles, and other men are just too embarrassed to talk about condoms altogether. The thing is; condoms are the best way to prevent HIV transmission. The next time you’re thinking about having unprotected sex, take time out to think about the following: Can you be sure that just because a guy looks healthy and doesn’t tell you he’s positive, he’ll be negative? About one third of people living with HIV don’t even know it themselves.

33% of HIV positive men

were infected by their partners whilst in a relationship.

relationships There may be differences between what we mean by the words ‘relationship’, ‘boyfriend’, ‘trust’ and ‘love’. If people involved in a ‘relationship’ have different views on these definitions, problems are likely to occur. We are likely to take more risks with our sexual health in the first year of a new relationship. This could be because unprotected anal sex is more likely to occur between regular sexual partners than casual partners. We may be at particular risk of HIV infection at the start of a relationship as we may decide to abandon condoms before we have correctly established that we share the same HIV status or attitudes to unprotected sex as our partner(s). There are many reasons for this including: •

Raw HOT spontaneous sex –no time for fumbling around with a condom.

The feeling of intimacy and trust may lead us to believe we know ‘everything’ about our partner(s).

We may assume ours and our partner(s) HIV status without discussing it.

We may not want the hassle of waiting for and organising a HIV test.


What do we do if we want to stop using condoms? 1.





Talk to your partner about the idea of not using condoms when fucking each other. Both go for a sexual health check up (including HIV testing) and share the results with each other. Continue using condoms for another 3 months. This is the ‘window’ period for HIV infection Go for another HIV test and share the results with each other again. If you are both are HIV negative, you could then make the decision to stop using condoms.

This ‘agreement’ involves trusting your partner(s). If either of you have unprotected sex outside of the relationship, it is important to tell each other and use condoms with each other. Having unprotected sex outside of the relationship whilst continuing not to use condoms in the relationship can put yourself and your partner(s) at risk of contracting HIV


I am HIV positive and have been told that I should still use condoms even when having sex with someone who is also positive. Why is this? Some people living with HIV choose only to have sex with other people who are also HIV positive. This could be because: •

They don’t want to worry about passing the virus on.

They think it is safe not to use a condom.

Although not using a condom can be pleasurable and feel more intimate, both partners are taking a risk. These risks can include: •

Catching another STI – people living with HIV may be more likely to pick up other STIs as their immune system may be weakened due to their HIV infection. Having HIV may also mean that treating other STIs may be more problematic, and co-infection with hepatitis C for instance may have a negative effect on your HIV and treatment.

HIV re-infection: There is a risk of re-infection with another strain of HIV. This ‘new’ strain could be resistant to certain drugs and therefore could have an effect on the effectiveness of your treatment.


nearly of gay men leave a sexual health clinic without having a HIV test. Why? (Fear)


(ignorance is bliss)

(i might have hiv)

(confidentiality) (family reaction)

whatever the reason, it’s better to know your status.

should I, or shouldn’t i...

get a hiv test?

( (

I don’t have the time

I’ll do it next month

I’m sure I’m fine

We all put things off, and making the decision that now’s the time to get tested for HIV is a very individual one. But knowing what your status is, will probably take away some of that stress and anxiety, and could potentially improve your long term health. Whether the test turns out to be positive or negative, knowing your status means you can look ahead and plan for the future.

However, if you decide not to go ahead with a HIV test, getting yourself armed with all the up to date information about HIV and safer sex will certainly put you at an advantage, than just brushing the subject aside.

advantages of early diagnosis There are many reasons why you may decide not to have a HIV test. Some people choose to put off having a HIV test even if they are worried and are therefore diagnosed late – sometimes this can be years after initially becoming HIV positive. The advantages of early diagnosis are: •

You can monitor your health effectively.

You can plan for the future.

You can start treatment when required, reducing damage to your body. Late diagnosis is a serious problem in relation to health complications and HIV related deaths, and therefore, the earlier you are diagnosed the more likely you are to be able to manage the infection and lead a healthier




Unfortunately, nearly half of gay men that attend a sexual health clinic leave without being tested for HIV. This means that many people who are HIV positive are completely unaware of their status. The test itself is a blood test that looks for antibodies rather than the virus itself. They are available from sexual health clinics, and if the test is performed here the results are completely confidential. It is important to remember that the antibodies can take up to twelve weeks after infection to show, so if you have knowingly put yourself at risk you would need to wait for this ‘window period’ to pass before going for a test. An earlier test may not give a conclusive result. If the test finds these antibodies then you are said to be HIV positive, similarly if no antibodies are found then you are HIV negative. Some GUM clinics will also recommend that you talk to a health adviser before taking the test, and they will also talk to you when you get your results..

emergency treatment

pep PEP is short for Post Exposure Prophylaxis, it is a course of medication designed to stop HIV from infecting someone after it has entered the body consisting of a course of anti-HIV tablets, that have the potential to prevent HIV infection. PEP is not always successful, and should not be thought of as a ‘morning after pill’ for HIV. Infact, PEP is a month long treatment, and can have a variety of side effects. In order for PEP to have a chance of working it should be taken within 72 hours of possible infection. PEP cannot cure HIV, it can only prevent possible infection. Side effects from PEP can be severe, and time off work is usually needed. Typical side effects can include diarrhoea, headaches, feeling sick and vomiting. PEP is available from sexual health clinics or hospitals (usually A&E departments). GPs will not usually be allowed to prescribe PEP. However, there are strict guidelines to who can have PEP, and it is not a substitute for condoms.

The number of people living with HIV in the UK has trebled in the last 10 years. There are nearly 100,000 people in the UK who are living with HIV. There are many myths about HIV so here are the facts: •

There is no cure for HIV.

HIV can not be transmitted from toilet seats or by sharing eating and drinking utensils.

HIV can not be transmitted by kissing, sharing a bed, holding hands or hugging.

Even if someone has an undetectable viral load, HIV can still be transmitted.

HIV is still a serious infection. There is treatment but it is life long and can have a variety of side effects

starting treatment

If you’re diagnosed with HIV, you may not need to start treatment straight away. If diagnosed early, some people may not need treatment for years. When your doctor feels it is time, they will recommend that you start medication for HIV. This can be a very daunting time, as this could be the first time being HIV positive seriously affects your lifestyle. HIV treatments need to be taken daily and at regular intervals. Also many treatments have side effects and managing these can be difficult. Many side effects show up in the first weeks of treatment and eventually lessen in severity. Whether the side effects are mild, moderate or severe, it is crucial that you know how to handle them. Side effects are one of the main reasons people stop taking their medication—or take less than prescribed. This is dangerous as the HIV virus can become resistant and treatment may not work.

treatment Modern HIV treatments in the form of antiretroviral therapy have improved the lives of many people living with HIV. Indeed, it is thanks to these drugs that people are now living with HIV rather than dying of AIDS.

However, there still remains no cure for HIV, and treatments are life long. Due to the nature of HIV medication, treatments need to be taken at the same time everyday and may need to be taken more than once. It is also important to note that not everyone finds a treatment that works straight away. Therefore, some people find that they may have to switch treatments until the right one is found. This can be a worrying and stressful time for the person living with HIV, as well as their friends and relatives.

what do people with hiv say? “A devil you know is better than a devil you don’t know, so please get tested, it’s never too late.” “HIV has empowered me to take personal responsibility for myself, my body and my feelings. To be assertive around my needs, not just my man’s.” “You can still lead a positive life when you are HIV positive.” “Taking risks is part of life. For me that one time did not pay off and now I’m positive. Knowing my status empowers me to lead life positively.” “I am a positive, positive - living, working, socialising amongst you. It has not stopped my life, but made me value living it.” “There is still life with HIV, I am moving forward, so can you.” Quotes from GHT Positive Speakers


I’ve heard that with modern HIV treatment people can live a normal lifespan. why should I worry about catching HIV? SIDE EFFECTS Although HIV is much more manageable these days, it is still a very serious infection. For many people, HIV treatments can be uncomfortable, with many undesirable side effects. These side effects can include: Extreme tiredness • Loss of weight • Increase risk of cancer • Change in body shape • Yellow eyes • Facial wasting • Joint pains • Depression • Nausea • Diarrohea STIGMA Although medical advances have dramatically improved, HIV still carries a stigma with it, and many people continue to be unfairly discriminated against. This obviously has an impact on someone living with HIV, and many people feel they can not disclose their status – even to their friends and family.

Reasons why people living with hiv wouldn’t want someone else to be HIV positive... “The process of managing HIV is not straightforward and it is not without physical and mental cost.” “It would be great just for one day not to have to think about HIV and how it affects me.” “Having HIV doesn’t mean I don’t have sex. But it does mean I can’t think about having sex without being reminded I am positive.” “HIV, it’s manageable but definitely not glamorous, it’s not the next designer label to have.” - From GHT Positive Speakers

positively positive

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma attached to HIV, and this is usually born out of ignorance in the general population. People still see it as a gay, or drug addicts problem, and in recent surveys people actually attached blame to anyone who acquired the condition through sex or drug use. The virus does not judge between people, but sadly society does. Many newly diagnosed people feel that they can’t speak to their friends or family about their status, and they may need time to come to terms with it themselves. Also, people may be afraid of what work colleagues would say if they knew. If you are diagnosed, you are not obliged to tell anyone (other than perhaps your partner, but again this raises many issues for some people). Some people find it better to talk to a trained counsellor initially, as a positive diagnosis can be a scary thing to go through alone. Self esteem may also be affected, and again this is why it is important to talk about your fears and anxieties. Bottling up these emotions can be more damaging long term if left unresolved.

self-esteem and hiv

Self-esteem is an essential ingredient in creating and maintaining hope, health and a quality life with HIV. However, many people living with HIV have problems with self-esteem. Feelings of guilt whether rational or not can be very damaging. Guilt will not lead to a happy life with HIV. High or good self-esteem does. We must learn to work through the guilt, and move onto feeling good enough about ourselves to create and maintain a happy and fulfilling life. Low self-esteem can prevent those of us with HIV from caring for ourselves. If you do not feel good about yourself, you may not do the things you need to in order to keep yourself healthy. If it is not possible to talk to your friends and family about any issues and you need support, there are a variety of agencies that may be able to help (please see pages 37 to 39 for agencies contacts). Remember, these agencies deal with HIV related issues on a daily basis and are there for you, please use them if you feel you need to.

living well with hiv When you are living with HIV, your body is fighting a constant battle, one that you can and will win –if you look after yourself. Make sure you get good quality, impartial information about HIV to help you make good decisions regarding your health and treatment. Vitamins in fresh fruit and vegetables will ensure that your body is getting what it needs to stay as healthy as possible. If you want to take extra vitamins, discuss this with your doctor who will be able to give you help and guidance about what is best for you. Exercise is vital to make sure you stay fit and maintain physical strength. Walking, running, dancing, even sex two or three times a week, are all helpful here. Ask to see a personal trainer at your local gym; they can help you work out the best regime to keep you fit and healthy. As well as keeping your body fit and healthy, regular exercise is a good source of relieving stress. Living with HIV can be very stressful so make sure you make regular time in your day to relax and clear your mind. If you feel good about yourself this will have a positive affect on your health. Get plenty of rest. Sleep is vital as your body needs to concentrate on healing itself. It’s good to get eight hours sleep every night.

talking about hiv

People living with HIV may find it difficult to disclose their status as they may worry that people will reject them, or that they may experience prejudice from friends, family and colleagues. People living with HIV can also experience discrimination in their workplace, in healthcare settings (e.g., GPs and dentists), from members of their local community and through the media. Disclosing your status is a very personal decision and is a complex topic. Telling an employer is very different from telling a sexual partner, and different again from telling a friend. At the end of the day, you have the final decision of when, how and even if you want to disclose your status. HIV prejudice is often the result of ignorance about how HIV is passed on and an unfounded fear of becoming infected. Encouraging those around us to talk about HIV and to find out the facts can help overcome this.

hiv and

criminalisation Throughout the world there has been a trend to make HIV transmission illegal. The United Nations however have urged for a repeal of HIV prosecution laws, which are difficult to prove, but cause much distress when they appear in the news . The law assumes people living with HIV will tell their sexual partner(s) about their sexual health status before having sex. However, in reality this is not very realistic as it is very likely that men living with HIV will be rejected out of fear or prejudice. Prosecution can lull people who assume they are HIV negative into a false sense of security. If you wait to be told by a partner that they have HIV you are gambling big stakes. At least 4 out of 10 people with HIV can’t tell you until it’s too late – 4 out of 10 people simply don’t know they have HIV. When getting down to sex, no one decides to use or not use condoms based on whether they think the law says they should or not. But many people do wait for the other guy to make the decision. Consistently using condoms, whatever your HIV status, is likely to be a far better choice for avoiding the risks of HIV transmission. It is always better to protect your own sexual health rather than expect other people to do it for you. A recent survey of men in gay venues in London, Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, found that 40% of men who tested positive for HIV thought they were HIV negative. To date, there have been 16 prosecutions and twelve convictions in England and Wales all based on the reckless transmission of HIV. However, there have been more than 100 police investigations that did not reach court, a figure which is similar to other countries across the continent.

hiv and sex Many people’s feeling about sex can change after receiving a positive diagnosis. Living with HIV can make you look at yourself and sex in a negative light. It may make you feel bad about the kind of sex you had or are having, or angry with the person or people who could have passed the virus on to you. Receiving a positive diagnosis is likely to be a time of shock, fear, worry and disbelief. Therefore, it is not surprising that sexual performance and desire can be disrupted. A big concern for many people living with HIV is the fear of passing on the virus, and this obviously has an affect on a person’s desire for sex and intimacy. Three common sexual issues and concerns are: 1. 2. 3.

Problems with sexual desire Problems with obtaining and maintaining an erection Premature ejaculation or no orgasm.

These problems can occur for a variety of reasons and can be a result of either emotional or physical issues, or even a combination of the two.

the joys of


Although your feelings about sex may change, the fact remains that sex is fun and good, and this alone is a reason to continue to enjoy it. As well as fulfilling our sexual needs, sex also has other benefits including: Relieves stress • Reduces pain • Boosts immunity • Reduces the risk of prostate cancer • Burns calories • Helps you sleep • Improves cardiovascular health • Boost self esteem and confidence • Improves intimacy • Helps you relax If you choose to be single or celibate, that is totally fine. However, if you are choosing not to have sex because of your anxieties and fears about passing on HIV, or because you feel you aren’t desirable, it is important to explore your thoughts and concerns. Although your HIV doctors, nurses and health advisors are trained to deal with enquires about sexual problems, many people do not feel comfortable discussing these issues with them. Some people may rather confide in their friends, partners and family, while others may prefer to seek professional help. There are a variety of organisations listed on pages 38 to 39 which provide services for people living with HIV.

tips • • •

• •

Always carry condoms with you Never use oil based products with latex condoms Always check expiry dates and store condoms away from light and heat Always take plenty of condoms on holiday (just in case!) In saunas, darkrooms, sex clubs etc make sure you get hold of your condoms before you get hold of your man Remember your sexual health and wellbeing is your responsibility, nobody else’s. If you are sexually active remember to get tested for HIV and STI’s every six months or as soon as possible if you notice anything unusual

• • •

Always take HIV medication at the same time of day. If you are going out take some medication with you If you are going on holiday take plenty of medication with you (if required) If you have any worries or concerns make a list of questions to ask your doctor or nurse. Alternatively seek help and advice from relevant services and organisations. Friends, partners and family can provide additional emotional support. If you are comfortable talking to them, they’ll be more than happy to help. We all have an HIV status, positive or negative. Do you know yours?

sexual health clinics greater manchester Clinical services at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Central Manchester.

0161 235 8035

Ballie St Health Centre, Rochdale.

0161 627 8753

Brook Advisory, Manchester.

0161 237 3001

Crickets Lane Clinic, Ashton-under-lyne, Tameside.

0161 339 2222

Goodman Sexual Health Clinic Lancaster Road, Salford.

0161 212 5717

Manchester Centre for Sexual Health Central Manchester.

0161 276 5200

Royal Albert infirmary Sexual Health Clinic Wigan

01942 482128

Stepping Hill Sexual Health Clinic Stockport

0161 419 5370

North Manchester Hospital Sexual Health Clinic, Crumpsall.

0161 720 2681

The Barlow Suite Clinic, Fairfield, Hospital, Bury

0161 627 8753

The Bolton Centre for Sexual Health

01204 390771

The Jarman Clinic, Withington Community Hospital. Wednesday evenings 4.30pm - 7pm

0161 217 4939

The Phoenix Centre, Royal Oldham Hospital.

0161 627 8753

The Trafford Centre for Sexual Health

0161 746 2621

Withington Hospital, Sexual Health Clinic

0161 217 4939

sexual health clinics cheshire Countess of Chester Hospital, Chester

01244 363091

Leighton Hospital, Crewe

01270 612255

Halton General Hospital, Runcorn

01928 753217

sexual health clinics lancashire Ashton Community Care Centre, Lancaster

01524 387402

Blackburn Royal Infirmary Sexual Health Clinic

01254 736045

Burnley general Hospital Sexual Health Clinic

01282 644300

Royal Preston Hospital

01772 522814

Victoria Hospital Sexual health Clinic, Blackpool

01253 306926

sexual health clinics merseyside Arrow Park Hospital, Upton.

0151 604 7339

Liverpool Brook.

0151 207 4000

Royal Liverpool Hospital

0151 706 2620

sexual health clinics cumbria Birchwood Clinic, Furness General Hospital

0151 604 7339

Carlisle, Cumberland Infirmary

0151 207 4000

Workington Community Hospital

0151 706 2620

hiv support agencies Black Health Agency, Manchester 0161 232 5383 (HIV Support Worker) Body Positive NW, Manchester 0161 882 2200 GHT, Manchester 0161 274 4499 LGF, Manchester 0161 235 8035 Outrite, Cheshire 01270 653156 Sahir House, Liverpool 0151 707 0606 Shiver, Blackpool 01253 311 431 The Armistead Centre, Liverpool 0151 227 1893 THT, Wirral 0151 666 9890 Yorkshire Mesmac 0113 244 4209 (Head office – Leeds)

helplines The LGF Helpline 0845 3 30 30 30

6pm - 10pm 7 days a week

Body Positive NW Helpline 0161 882 2202

10am - 10pm 7 days a week

African AIDS Helpline 0800 0967 500

10am - 6pm Mon – Fri

THT Direct 0151 707 0606

10am – 10pm Mon – Fri 12pm – 6pm Weekends

Photographers: Paul Jones ( and Kevin Allsopp ( photos/trooper3d). With thanks to all of our models. Publication of the name or photo of any person in this guide should not be taken as any indication of the sexual orientation or HIV status of that person.





We believe in a fair and equal society where all lesbian, gay and bisexual people can achieve their full potential. BESURE BESAFE BESEXY

Published in November 2008 by:


Ending Homophobia,

Empowering People

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation Princess House, 105-107 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD Tel: 0161 235 8035 Fax: 0161 235 8036 Email: Web: Registered Charity No. 1070904 Registered Company No. 3476576

Registered Charity No.1070904

Sex Bomb