HIV Support Service

Our HIV Support Service is for clients who are HIV positive and for their significant others. It is also for those who have concerns or require information about HIV. Clients can access counselling, one-to-one and group support. People with HIV may also avail of peer education training so that they can act as supports and educators in their own communities.

People with HIV often face stigma and discrimination and can feel very isolated. They may also have a range of other problems that make it difficult for them to cope with their HIV diagnosis or treatments. The HIV Support Service at the Sexual Health Centre responds to the needs of each individual. It has been shown in various studies that such support is vital in helping people to live healthy lives.

The Sexual Health Centre also provides information and a helpline for those who may have concerns about or require information on HIV and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).

U=U

The U=U campaign was launched in 2016.  U=U stands for Undetectable = Untransmittable. Evidence supporting U=U has been accumulating since the early 2000s.  U=U has been very important in challenging the stigma faced by HIV positive people.  U=U challenges stigma by making people aware that HIV positive people with a sustained undetectable viral load (less than 40 copies in a millileter of blood) are not infectious to their sexual partners.  You can play your part in reducing stigma by spreading the word about U=U.  You can get more info on U=U here

PEP

PEP or Post Exposure Prophylaxis is a course of antiretroviral medication which can prevent HIV infection after a potential exposure to HIV.  PEP needs to be started within 72 hours of a potential exposure to HIV.  It is taken once or twice daily for 28 days.

PEP is only to be used in emergency situations.  If you think you’ve recently been exposed to HIV during sex or through sharing needles and works to prepare drugs or if you’ve been sexually assaulted, you can access PEP from your local Accident and Emergency Department.

PrEP

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a daily dose of medication which reduces the risk of getting HIV.  Taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by over 90%.  For people who inject drugs, taking PrEP reduces the risk by over 70%.  The risk of getting HIV from sex can be reduced even further by also using condoms during sex.  PrEP is not currently available from the Sexual Health Centre.  You should talk to your GP or contact the GUM clinic at the Victoria hospital on 0214966844.