This section provides details on what to do if you had unplanned or unwanted sex and want to minimize risk, or in the case of sexual assault and rape, details on where to go for help and how to report it.
PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis)
Exposure to HIV
PEP for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) are tablets taken to reduce the risk of catching HIV within 72 hours of coming in contact with the virus. It should be started as soon as possible after contact as it will be more effective. The tablets are taken for a period of 4weeks. As it is not guaranteed to work, it is advisable to have protected sex (condoms) as this is more effective at preventing HIV transmission and also reduces the risk of contracting other STIs.
Sexual Health clinics and Accident & Emergency can provide PEP.
PEP is not available from your GP or at any pharmacies.
It is recommended that you phone our single point of contact telephone number 01695 656550 before attending clinic to make sure that it is available in the clinic you want to attend that day.
For more information please read this leaflet PEP Patient leaflet or visit https://www.nhs.uk/can-post-exposure-prophylaxis-pep-stop-me-getting-hiv/
If you’ve had unprotected sex or think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception. The most effective method of emergency contraception is to have an IUD fitted. This can then be left fitted if you still need long term contraceptive cover. Emergency contraception pills can be very effective, but are not as effective as the IUD, or using other methods of contraception regularly and correctly.
There are different types of emergency contraception:
- emergency intrauterine device (IUD or emergency coil) – this is the most effective
- emergency contraceptive pill – the sooner after sex you use this the more effective it will be. There are two types in the UK:
- Ulipristal acetate (UPA) – ellaOne is currently the only brand available in the UK
- Levonorgestrel – different brands are available
Emergency contraception does not cause an abortion or protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
For further information visit Sexwise/emergency contraception
Download fpa leaflet
Where can I find emergency contraception in Sefton?
Emergency contraception is free and available from some all Sefton Sexual Health Clinics, community pharmacies, Walk-In Centres and hospital A&E Departments, link to clinic times and locations
Here is a list of community pharmacies who can provide FREE emergency contraception.
Pharmacies supplying emergency contraception.
However, if not listed you may be expected to pay.
During Bank Holidays you may wish to call before you visit a pharmacy to check opening times.
Sexual Assault and Rape
Reporting a crime & support
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped there are different services to support you.
Call 999 for emergency assistance from the Police
Merseyside Police has specially trained officers, who are dedicated to helping and supporting victims of all sexual assault and rape. These officers will investigate offences in a discreet and professional manner, offering support and guidance from the time of reporting through to the conclusion of an investigation.
Merseyside Police treat historic incidents of rape or sexual assault just as seriously as recent ones. If you would like to report a crime that has happened in the past please call 101 and a specially trained officer will attend.
For more information visit Merseyside-police/how-to-report-rape-and-sexual-health
Telephone: 01772 523344 – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
What do they provide?
- Forensic medical examination
- Emergency contraception
- PEPSE* if appropriate
- Advice on screening for sexually transmitted Infections
- Hepatitis ‘B’ vaccination
- Referral to an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser and other appropriate support services
- Informal discussion with a specially trained police officer (if requested)
- Translation services if English is not your first language
* A course of treatment to help prevent the onset of HIV in those who are at risk (this must be administered within 72 hours of an assault).