Information about HIV

is a virus that attacks the immune system. If untreated, a person’s immune system will eventually be completely destroyed.

AIDS refers to a set of symptoms and illnesses that occur at the very final stage of HIV infection.

See the AVERT website for more information: an excellent resource for people who would like to know more about HIV.


= Pre Exposure Prophylaxis

‘PrEP’ is the term for using HIV drugs before exposure to reduce the chance of getting HIV. They is usually taken daily by someone who is HIV negative, to reduce their chance of catching HIV. PrEP uses two HIV drugs (tenofovir and FTC) in one pill (called Truvada) before (and after) exposure.

PEP = Post Exposure Prophylaxis

‘PEP’ is the term for using HIV drugs after an exposure to reduce the chance of an infection.

PEPSE = PEP after Sexual Exposure

‘PEPSE’ is, for example, if you didn’t use a condom or if the condom broke or came off. It is used to separate this from PEP used after occupational exposure – for example when a health worker is scratched by a needle or syringe.

See the i-Base guide to PrEP:

Peer Support

Living with and managing HIV can be challenging for many people. Whether it’s coming to terms with a new diagnosis, starting or changing treatment, managing relationships or talking about HIV. Peer support has been proven to be an effective way of enabling people with HIV to live well and manage their HIV.

See the Positively UK web site:

HIV Partners on HealthUnlocked: