HIV & sexual health services

Important notice

Due to the monkeypox outbreak in London and the surge in demand for our services, we are currently prioritising urgent appointments only and postponing our routine work/family planning. Please continue to contact us if you need urgent sexual health care or are concerned about monkeypox. Alternatively for advice on monkeypox please call the London helpline: 0333 2423 672 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat/Sun 9am-1pm). We will update any further changes to our services here.

Monkeypox virus (MPV)

Our sexual health services are open but due to the current cases of monkeypox virus (MPV) in the UK, our services are running differently. Please do not walk-in—go to the relevant clinic link and follow the instructions on how to book a suitable appointment. 

The UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency, previously Public Health England) has identified multiple confirmed cases of monkeypox virus (MPV) in the UK, mostly affecting gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men (MSM). It is usually a mild illness which does not require treatment, but can sometimes become more serious. UKHSA are contacting people who have been in contact with a known case. 

Symptoms of MPV?

Symptoms begin 5–21 days (average 6–16 days) after being exposed to the virus. The first signs are a high fever, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a severe headache but some people may not have these initial symptoms.

Approximately 1–5 days later a rash appears. The rash often starts on the genitals or face before spreading to other parts of the body. The rash changes and goes through different stages before finally forming a scab (see pictures below). Someone with MPV is infectious until the last scab has fallen off. 

MPV is usually mild and most people will recover within a few weeks without any treatment. Reports state that the type of MPV in the UK currently is a different form of the virus, causing a less severe illness.  Occasionally, people become more unwell and require hospital admission, so if you have been diagnosed with MPV, it is important to stay in touch with your healthcare provider and let them know if your symptoms worsen. 

How is monkeypox acquired?

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people. Person-to-person spread may occur through:

  • Direct contact with skin lesions or scabs.
  • Contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) that have been used by an infected person.
  • Breathing in droplets from the coughing or sneezing of someone who has a monkeypox rash.

monkeypoxpox.jpg

What to do if you think you might have it

Call one of the clinics for advice if you think you have signs or symptoms of MPV. Please don’t walk into the clinics. We may refer you to our main hospital, Chelsea and Westminster, for specific tests. Don’t share bedding, towels and other linen. Please avoid any sexual contact until your symptoms have been reviewed.

UKSHA will contact anyone who may have been exposed to MPV and provide further advice. People exposed to a known case should self-isolate at home for 21 days. Giving smallpox vaccine after exposure to a confirmed case reduces the chance of becoming unwell. 

We are receiving a high volume of calls regarding monkeypox vaccination. Please be aware our call centre staff cannot book appointments for these vaccines.

Due to the current limited vaccine availability, we will be inviting all eligible individuals registered with our service for vaccination via text message.

Please note there is a limited supply of the MVA vaccine, so initially, one dose is being offered to those at highest risk first. As more vaccine supplies become available, more people will be offered the first dose of the vaccine.

Please be assured that once vaccine supplies are unlimited, we will offer vaccination as part of routine sexual health care to anyone at high risk of infection. 

Please visit the link below which has more information on vaccinations.

COVID-19 advice for patients attending our services

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we ask all our patients to follow this advice before attending our services we will be regularly updating our information.

  • If you have been in contact with someone who has Coronavirus (COVID-19) or you have a new, continuous cough and/or temperature, DO NOT attend the clinic. Self-isolate and visit this NHS website for further advice
  • In line with Government advice and due to the COVID-19 pandemic we advise you not to attend your booked appointment at your clinic. If your symptoms are urgent and/or you wish to discuss this further please call your individual clinic

Many thanks for your understanding.

Screening for sexually transmitted infections and testing for STIs can be performed using a home test kit, ordered online via Sexual Health London.

Should you have concerns regarding access to sexual health services, please contact your individual clinic below.

Important notice

Please read important information about sexual health services and your appointment.

About our services

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of award winning sexual health and HIV services across London. People do not need their GP to refer them for care, nor do they need to live locally.

Our sexual health clinics offer testing for sexually transmitted infections (including HIV tests), contraceptives including the morning after pill (emergency contraception), condoms, pregnancy testing, Hepatitis A and B vaccinations, safer sex education and support/counselling.

Our main sexual health clinics are based at John Hunter Clinic for Sexual Health (located in St Stephens Centre next to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital), 10 Hammersmith Broadway (previously West London Centre for Sexual Health), 56 Dean Street in Soho, West Middlesex University Hospital.

We also provide outreach sexual health clinics which are services based in the community (eg in NHS walk-in centres) and other specialist sexual health clinics.

We have specialist HIV clinics—Kobler Outpatient Clinic (located in St Stephens Centre next to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital), Kobler Day Care Unit (located in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital) and at 10 Hammersmith Broadway.

Our services for people living with HIV include a dedicated inpatient ward, 2 day care units, an emergency clinic for HIV-related problems and three outpatient clinics—Kobler Clinic, 10 Hammersmith Broadway at and 56 Dean Street. We also offer peer support for people living with HIV.

Sexual Health London—free home STI testing kit 

Sexual Health London is a free online sexual health service for residents of most London boroughs. Please register for an account, complete the online consultation and if the service is right for you, a free kit will be posted out. You will need to take your own samples and return them by post for testing. The results are available in a few days. The service was initially for people with no symptoms but can now also be used if you have some types of symptoms, or if you have no symptoms and have been in contact sexually with someone known to have gonorrhea, chlamydia or syphilis.

Your information

Feedback

Was this page useful to you?

Share this page