HIV is now considered a long term manageable illness. This means we expect people with HIV to live longer, continue with their work, education, have families and live their own life, have their own dreams and aspirations.

HIV is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids. This most commonly happens during unprotected sexual contact, such as vaginal, oral and anal sex. People who inject illegal drugs and share needles are also at risk of catching HIV. The condition can also be spread from a mother to her unborn child.


Symptoms of HIV may occur two to six weeks after being infected.

These early symptoms are often very mild, so it is easy to mistake them for another condition, such as a cold or glandular fever. Anyone concerned about the risk of HIV infection should request a test.

Getting tested

If you're concerned about HIV you should contact your local sexual health clinic or GP practice as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of HIV can make a real difference.

A confidential and convenient HIV testing service is now available from York MESMAC and other locations throughout North Yorkshire. Contact 01904 620400 to make an appointment 10am - 8pm or email or (Scarborough) (York) (Harrogate). 'There is also a confidential and convenient HIV testing service available at North Yorkshire Aids Action (NYAA) for further details

If you think you have been at recent risk (within the last 72 hours) you can get emergency treatment that may prevent you being infected. This is available from your local sexual health clinic or from the Accident and Emergency Department at your local hospital.

Useful links

North Yorkshire Aids Action:

NHS Choices:

Yorkshire MESMAC

Have you seen the HIVhop?

Have you checked out the HIVhop campaign, a comedy style rap video tackling common misconceptions and stigma surrounding HIV?

The video is a timely reminder that young people are still unaware of HIV and how it can be acquired.

You can view the video here

Produced by Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust the campaign won the media campaign/storyline of the year at the UK Sexual Health Awards 2013.