LGBTQ+: Sex & Sexual health

A part of a relationship can be sex. Here is some information to help you stay protected and healthy.

We all have the same feelings and anxieties about sex. Deciding when you're ready to have sex is a big step, whatever your sexuality and whoever your potential partner might be. Everyone is ready at different times. Visit the ‘Are you ready to have sex?’ page for further details.

Sexual health and men who have sex with men (including gay and bisexual men)

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk from STIs if they have unprotected sex. Young gay and bisexual men are the group at greatest risk of getting infected with HIV in the UK and they are also at increased risk from other STIs. Condoms, lube and oral sex dams can help prevent STIs. If you use sex toys using a condom and lube helps you stay protected.

For more information about being a gay or bisexual man visit: Terrance Higgins Trust (THT). You can get FREE condoms, oral sex dams and lube through local condom distribution schemes. Click here to find a place near you.

Sexual health and women who have sex with women (including lesbians, bisexual women)

Even if you only have sex with other women you can still become infected with an STI – remember any sexually active person who has unprotected sex is at risk. If you’re going to be in contact with your partner’s vaginal fluids, protect yourself by using an oral sex dam otherwise known as a dental dam. This is a very thin sheet of latex that you can stretch over your partner’s vulva and then lick or suck through so that you reduce the risk of an STI infection. Using condoms and lube if you use sex toys also helps prevent STIs.

For more information about sexual health for lesbian and bisexual women visit: NHS Choices

You can get FREE condoms, oral sex dams and lube through local condom distribution schemes. Click here to find a place near you.

Sexual Health and men and women who have sex with different gender partners (including heterosexual, bisexual people)

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk from STIs if they have unprotected sex. Condoms, lube and oral sex dams can help prevent STIs. Condoms also help protect against unwanted pregnancy in different gender (e.g. male/female) sex situations.

You can get FREE condoms, oral sex dams and lube through local condom distribution schemes. Click here to find a place near you.

Post-exposure Prophylaxis – PEP

If for any reason you have unprotected sex and think there’s a real risk you may have been exposed to HIV there is medication called Post-exposure Prophylaxis or PEP that you can take to help prevent you from becoming infected. The quicker you take it; the more effective the treatment; PEP must be started within 72 hours of the unprotected sex.

PEP can be accessed from any sexual health clinic or from A&E departments at local hospitals.

FREE condoms

You can access free condoms from a range of different services. Visit the 'FREE Condoms' page to find out where and how.

REMEMBER: Safer is sexier! Find out why.

Emergency Contraception

If you have had unprotected male/female sex and do not want to be pregnant you can use emergency contraception. Click here for further information about Emergency Contraception.

Get Tested!

STI testing is advised for anyone who has had unprotected sex or each time you have sex with a new partner without using a condom. Getting tested is easy and can be done for free at your local NHS sexual health service.

There are two gay and bisexual men clinics in South West London.
K2’ at the Wolverton centre for Sexual Health; Kingston Hospital
SW17’ at the WISH Centre; St George’s Hospital – Tooting; Wandsworth.

All Sexual Health clinics see people of all gender and sexuality.

You can get confidential advice from services near to you.

Choose your area from the list below

Remember to use condoms or not to have sex until you receive your test results.