HIV stands for 'Human Immunodeficiency Virus'. It is a virus which attacks the body's immune system — the body's own defence against diseases.

HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom, or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.

There are now more people than ever living with HIV in the UK — more than 90,000 — with around a quarter of those unaware they have the virus.  Around 800 people in Liverpool are living with HIV, of which an estimated 160 are unaware that they have the infection.
Since these people are unaware that they are living with HIV, they are not accessing life-saving treatment and care, and they risk spreading infection to others.

Facts about HIV in the UK:

 Over 90% of people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
 HIV is not passed on through spitting, biting or sharing utensils
 Only 1% of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
 You can get the result of an HIV test in as little as 20mins in some clinics

There is no vaccine or cure for HIV, but treatment can keep the virus under control and the immune system healthy. If HIV is diagnosed early, when a person is fit and well, and they get treatment and care, they can expect to live a long and healthy life.

For more information about HIV visit:


The only way to find out your HIV status is to have an HIV test. This is a simple, free and confidential blood test. Rapid HIV testing is available that provides results in 20 minutes.

You can get tested for HIV in the following places:

Test.HIV - free online home testing kits for those at high-risk of HIV

Axess (GUM) - all ages

Abacus - all ages

Armistead - for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people

Brook - under-25s only through the GUM clinics at Brook;

Student Health (eligibility criteria apply)

GP practices


Sahir House supports people of all ages living with or affected by HIV in Merseyside.