Dirtyboyz Gets the Lowdown from the Guys at Burrell Street Clinic in London
The weekends are our busiest time in the Burrell Street clinic for PEP. Patients’ experiences are always remarkably similar. Often it’s too much drink or a drug-fuelled party, that led to sex that seemed out of character and some unexpected decision-making. In the light of day, these become major concerns. However, our major concern for you, is who you’ve been having sex with.
If you are an HIV-negative man, who has been or wants to bareback, and wants to stay negative, choosing another bloke who thinks he is negative could turn out to be a big mistake. Even if he had a one-minute test at a clinic the day you fuck, it only lets you know his status eight weeks ago. If he’s been infected after that time, he will be seroconverting and at the height of his infectivity.
‘Seroconversion’ is the period of time a few weeks after infection when HIV is multiplying like wild re in the body, and antibodies are just starting to develop to try and fight the virus. At the time of seroconversion, the person is super infectious. Men who are fucking unprotected while seroconverting are fuelling the HIV epidemic in the UK among gay men. There will be huge amounts of virus in cum, precum and in the arse.
We need to be getting the ‘seroconverters’ into the clinic.
This is how we can knock down the growing numbers of new HIV infections. ‘Seroconversion illness’ ranges in its severity. Some feel fine, others tiredness, light rash and swollen glands, and in some a real knock-out u-like fever, with rash, high temperature, and exhaustion to the point that you really can’t move out of bed.
If you have ANY symptoms that are like these and you’ve had unprotected sex in the month before, do yourself a favour and get to a clinic, or ask for a test at your GP or if you are really unwell, go to A&E.
One-minute tests aren’t a good test for seroconversion illness, the best test is a blood test that has to go off to the laboratory for testing – it tests for the virus as well as the antibody.
At Burrell Street, we really want you to come in and let us take a look at you, and test you. Please don’t think you are wasting our time. If you are positive, it means we can get you on meds immediately. Recent research shows that starting meds at seroconversion improves your long-term outcome – getting the virus under control straight away before it damages your immune system. If it turns out to just be the u, we’ll just send you to the chemist for some Night Nurse.
In the meantime, if you are negative and want to stay that way, think carefully about who you choose to fuck with bareback. Men who are positive and on meds for at least six months with an undetectable viral load, are very unlikely to infect you. Make sure you test yourself really regularly – not just twice a year, but at least every couple of months. And don’t forget PEP. It’s free and available to you seven days a week, within 72 hours of possible exposure – the sooner you take the first dose the better.
Sponsored by Dirtyboyz.org
Testing & Treatment is by far the best way of managing your sexual health, for sexually active adults the recommendation would be to get tested every 3 months, but as a minimum you should get tested once a year. Find out more:
Testing in London – https://shl.uk
Find a sexual health clinic
Testing in England – https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/sexual-health/find-a-sexual-health-clinic
Testing in Wales – https://111.wales.nhs.uk/localservices/?pc=n&s=SexualHealth&sort=default
Testing in Scotland – https://www.sexualhealthscotland.co.uk/get-help/sexual-health-service-finder
Testing in Northern Ireland – https://www.sexualhealthni.info/genitourinary-medicine-gum-clinics
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, in simple terms, its a pill that when taken correctly; by somebody who does not have HIV; is effective in stopping HIV transmission.
Sponsored by Dirtyboyz.org