Sexual health advice in Herefordshire
Sexual health is an important part of physical and mental health as well as your emotional and social wellbeing. It's important to take care of your sexual health and to talk about sex and relationships with your loved ones.
Your local Sexual Health Service for Herefordshire can be contacted for free on 0800 7720478. Alternatively, if you would like to talk to someone about a sexual health issue, you can call the national Sexual Health Helpline free on 0300 123 7123. Your call will be treated with sensitivity and in strict confidence. The Sexual Health Helpline is open from 9am-8pm, Monday-Friday. You can find more information, advice and find out how to book an appointment for a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) test on the Sexual Health Services for Herefordshire website.
Get a free, confidential STI test
In Herefordshire, Sexual Health Services for Herefordshire is the specialist team who diagnose and treat STIs. The team offer appointments, walk-in clinics, contraception and can also provide free STI home testing kits.
Appointment and drop in sessions are currently available at the Aspire Hub (appointment only) and Herefordshire Mind (drop in sessions), Monday to Friday between 9am-4pm (last session 3.30pm) although please do check the service website for updates to clinic sessions as well as more information and advice.
Emergency anti-HIV medication is also available. This only works if taken within three days of coming into contact with the virus, which makes getting tested as soon as possible all the more important.
If you think you have been exposed to the virus within the last 72 hours (three days), anti-HIV medication may stop you becoming infected. It is only recommended following higher risk exposure, particularly where the sexual partner is known to be positive. HIV treatment is now so effective that with an early diagnosis, those with the virus can live as long as anyone else.
Free home STI testing
You can order free STI home testing kits, including for chlamydia, online through freetest.me who can post it to your home. Your test kit will arrive in a plain envelope and will contain everything you need to provide samples that will be tested in the lab. You will receive your test results by text message within seven working days, along with directions on how to access treatment if required.
To avoid an unplanned pregnancy, it is vital to use contraception. There are 15 different kinds you can get free on the NHS so you should find one that is right for you.
If you have had unprotected sex, (not used any method of contraception) or if the contraception you have used has failed you may be at risk of getting pregnant. Please don’t just ignore the risk - we can help. Contact your own GP or sexual health service as soon as possible after the unprotected sex. The sooner you seek help the more likely it is that we can help you to prevent a pregnancy.
Emergency Contraception (morning-after pill) is available from your own GP or sexual health clinic some of which provide it free to girls over 14. You can buy emergency contraception from any pharmacy if you are over 16. You may also be able to have an emergency Intrauterine Device (IUD)/Coil fitted.
For more information on emergency contraception, visit the NHS website.