HIV/STI Prevention across Greater Manchester

Sexual Health Promotion

BHA works across Greater Manchester and provides a comprehensive programme of sexual health services to support African and other black and ethnic individuals and communities.  Our team work within communities to raise awareness of HIV & STI’s, reduce new infections, reduce late diagnosis, improve access to regular testing and challenge stigma and prejudice. Activities include training, workshops and information sessions, one-to-one information and advice, group talks and rapid HIV testing.

The team are available, every day of the week, to provide tailored information and advice sessions and structured support for black, minority ethnic and marginalised communities.  If you would like to book a session for your group please contact us on 0161 874 2183 or email pash@thebha.org.uk

Passionate about Sexual Health

The PaSH Partnership is a collaboration between BHA for Equality, George House Trust, and the LGBT Foundation, who are the current providers of HIV prevention and support across Greater Manchester.

The GM Sexual Health Improvement Programme will include HIV testing, access to low cost condoms, a dedicated sexual health website, HIV outreach, and support for adults and children newly diagnosed with HIV or living with HIV longer term.

Medical advances now mean that HIV is a manageable long-term health condition when diagnosed early, but continuing levels of misunderstanding and a lack of up to date knowledge mean that HIV remains a highly stigmatized medical condition.

PaSH delivers a comprehensive programme of sexual health services for people across Greater Manchester who are at risk of or diagnosed with HIV.

Within the partnership the three organizations lead on specific areas of delivery:

  • BHA provides free & confidential sexual health services for black and minority communities and offers information and advice, group sessions, community activities and rapid HIV testing.
  • George House Trust provides free and confidential support, advice and advocacy services for people living with HIV.
  • LGBT Foundation provides advice, support, testing and resources for men who have sex with men.

For further information about PaSH, please click here.

Self-testing Kits for for under 25’s

Self-testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea

The Chlamydia/Gonnorrhoea self-tests use either a urine sample or swab which is posted (free post) back to the lab. Results will be given via phone or text, depending on the result. This will happen within 2 weeks of the test being received by the lab. Treatment for each is as follows:

Chlamydia

A simple course of antibiotics normally clears Chlamydia.

Gonorrhoea

Treatment for Gonorrhoea is usually a simple course of antibiotics.

If your test is positive for Gonorrhoea you will be asked to attend a sexual health clinic in a hospital where you will have another test to check what antibiotic the infection will respond to.

Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea test kit

The kits are free and available to collect from our Manchester office during office hours – you don’t need to make an appointment.  We also distribute kits to under 25’s during our community events and activities.

Rapid HIV Testing in Greater Manchester

Rapid HIV Testing

BHA offers free & confidential HIV testing within community settings across Greater Manchester and at our Manchester office. Results are available in 60 seconds.   Call or email us now to find out where we offer HIV testing or book an appointment at our office.  Tel: 0161 874 21 83 or email pash@thebha.org.uk

When to test?

An HIV test is the only way to know if you have HIV. The earlier you know your status, the sooner you can access treatment and care. Most people who test early and access treatment live a long and healthy life.

  • Test at the start of a relationship as part of a full sexual health screen check-up.
  • After unprotected (condom less) sex that could have put you at risk of HIV you should always take a test.
  • Test at least once a year or more frequently if having sex without condoms with new or casual partners.
  • Remember – a negative test result in the past is no longer accurate of you have taken risks since.

What does our Rapid HIV Test and Talk service involve?

Our service if free and confidential and is delivered by trained testers who will have a brief chat with you about HIV exposure and risk before taking a very small sample of your blood during a quick finger-prick. Results will be ready in 60 seconds and we provide support regardless of your result.

YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVSq59YC_24

Recent risk?

If you have put yourself at risk of HIV infection within the last 72 hours, you can attend your local sexual health center or A and E department and request PEP. This needs to be within 72 hours of potential exposure and consists of a month’s course of treatment. The closer in time from the exposure will mean the medication has a better chance of preventing HIV transmission from occurring.

Testing and window periods

It takes 12 weeks for the antibodies of HIV infection to show up in your blood with our rapid HIV test. This is called the window period. In this time, it may be better to use a different type of HIV testing available from a sexual health clinic. 

If you test within the window period, we will always advise you to come back for a further test at 12 weeks.

If you decide to test at your local sexual health clinic, you can ask for a test which may be able to detect HIV itself, as well as the antibodies, at just 4 weeks. This will involve taking blood intravenously (from the arm), and is different from the finger prick tests we use at BHA. You will usually have your results in 2 weeks, and you are welcome to call us at any time during this process to get support and advice.

If you would like a rapid HIV test or for our team to provide HIV testing at your group or event please contact us for details. This is a free service. 

Please contact us on 0161 874 21 83 or email pash@thebha.org.uk

Feel confident with condoms

Condoms

We distribute free condoms and lube during community events and group sessions across Greater Manchester.  You can also drop in to our Manchester office to pick up condoms. 

Alternatively, low-cost condoms and lubricant are available to purchase from Freedoms shop. Just click on the image to securely order your condoms and lubricant.

How do Condoms Work?

A condom covers the penis or sex toy and acts as a barrier between it and the mouth, vagina, penis or anus.

Condoms protect against pregnancy by preventing the sperm contained in semen coming into contact with the vagina. As condoms stop sexual fluids being transferred between partners they are also the only method of contraception that protects against most STI’s.

It’s important that the man’s penis does not make contact with the vagina before a condom has been put on. This is because semen can come out of the penis before a man has fully ejaculated. If this happens, or if semen leaks into the vagina while using a condom, seek advice about emergency contraception from your GP or contraceptive clinic. You should also consider having an STI test.

When used correctly each time you have sex, condoms are the best protection against STI’s and HIV when having vaginal, anal and oral sex. Water-based and Silicone-based lube can make condoms even more effective as it helps to prevent fiction which can lead to tears.

When used properly and consistently condoms are effective in preventing an unwanted pregnancy. Whilst other contraceptives, such as the contraceptive pill, offer protection against unwanted pregnancy, they offer no protection against STI’s, unlike the condom.

How do I use a condom?

Check 3 things on the condom package before use:

1. The condom is within date and hasn’t expired.

2. Make sure there are no rips or tears in the packet.

3. Make sure that the condom has the BSI kite mark or CE mark on the package. This means that the condom has been tested to ensure high quality.

Before opening, push the condom to one side of the package so that when you tear open the package you don’t tear the condom. Make sure you have it the right way up by placing it over your finger tip. If you can’t roll it down you need to turn it the over before putting it on the penis.  If you notice the condom is inside out once on the penis, start again, with a new one, as there may be some sperm on it.

Make sure the condom is put on the penis when it is fully erect, if not, it’s more likely to come off.

condom on top of penis

Place the condom on top of the erect penis and pinch the tip of the condom between thumb and forefinger to get rid of any air and allow for a little space at the top as you roll it down the shaft to the base of the penis.

roll condom down shaft of penis

You can place a small amount of water-based or silicone-based lube on the condom for extra pleasure. If you are having anal sex you should use additional lube which you can apply to the outside of the anus or on the outside of the condom. Be careful not to use too much as it may cause the condom to slip off. Don’t use oil based lubricants – they can make the condom split.

After sex is finished withdraw the penis before it gets soft. Hold the condom on at the base of the penis until it is withdrawn from your partner’s mouth, anus or vagina and then take it off.

Do, check the condom from time to time and after half an hour change it for a new one. A condom is more likely to split if sex lasts over 30 minutes.

Do put the condom in the bin, do not put them in the toilet as they can block it.

Never reuse a condom.  Always use a brand new condom if you have any sexual contact again.

Never use two condoms together as this increases the chances of them splitting or tearing.

What to do when condom breaks?

If the condom splits or slips off during sex you or your partner could be at risk of unwanted pregnancy, HIV or another sexually transmitted infection.

You could take emergency contraception to reduce the risk of pregnancy or Post-exposure Prophylaxsis (PEP) to reduce the risk of becoming HIV positive – but you need to act fast. You should also consider having an STI test.