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.

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 an Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) test on the NHS Know your Stuff website.

Get a free, confidential STI test

In Herefordshire, Integrated Sexual Health (iSH) are 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. You can find iSH at 29-30 Commercial Road, Hereford HR1 2BG or call them on 01432 266908. Check the iSH website for 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 online through SH:24 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.

If you are aged 16-24, you can get a free chlamydia home testing kit from Don't pass it on. The kit will be sent by post in a package that looks like a CD case. You can receive the results by text or email within seven working days, along with directions on how to access treatment if required.

Contraception

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.

Women can also get Emergency Contraception (morning-after pill) from their GP, sexual health clinic or community pharmacy, some of which provide it free to girls over 14. You can buy emergency contraception from any pharmacy if you are over 16. Emergency contraception should not be used on a regular basis and it does not protect you or your partner from STIs - something only condoms do. For more information on emergency contraception, visit the NHS website