The over 50s are the fastest growing group in the UK with new HIV and STI infections and these numbers will double over the next five years. Treatment advances are now keeping people alive and well as they go into older age. Good sexual health means more than being free of sexually transmitted infections. It means having the confidence and skills to ask for the sex that makes us feel good. It also means respecting our partners and taking responsibility for their sexual health as well as our own.

Those of us with sexually transmitted infections that cannot be cured (such as HIV, herpes or hepatitis B and C) can have healthy, happy sex lives and good sexual health if these infections have been diagnosed and are being treated.

If someone with HIV is being successfully treated not only does it mean better health for that person, but much less chance they will pass the infection on. HIV drugs lower the level of HIV in the body, making that person less infectious.

Condoms are still the best way of stopping HIV: they can be obtained for free (from your doctor or sexual health clinic) and are easy to use. However, you may not be aware but there's a thing called PEP which can stop a person becoming infected after HIV has entered their body. PEP is an emergency measure to be used as a last resort, eg, if a condom breaks or you have a ‘slip up’ from your usual safer sex routine. PEP is a combination of powerful drugs and can be hard to get hold of, so it is no substitute for condoms, but it’s important to know about in case one day you or someone you’ve had sex with needs it. Contact us for more information or click on the following link: http://www.tht.org.uk/sexual-health/HIV-STIs/HIV-AIDS/Post-exposure-prophylaxis

If you are HIV positive you can access THT’s MyHIV website which gives you a host of free online services, tools and community spaces tailored to your needs. If you’re living with HIV in the UK this really is a site dedicated to you. You can connect with others living with HIV and find services near to you, take control of meds and appointments with useful reminders, get to know your CD4 and viral load and track them over time, share your experiences and help others while improving your overall knowledge around HIV at the same time. Contact us for more information or click on the following link: http://www.tht.org.uk/myhiv

Alternatively, you can search for Terrence Higgins Trust services locally to you - by using our Service Finder by clicking on the following link: http://www.tht.org.uk/sexual-health/Service-finder. Please do contact us directly if you have any questions whatsoever regarding sexual health, HIV or any man2man issues.

You can email us at: tom.boyt@tht.org.uk Any questions will be treated with complete privacy and confidentiality and your details will never be passed on or shared with anyone else.