Some infections that can be spread during sex are vaccine preventable and vaccination is available free of charge in GUM and HIV clinics.
MSM are at higher risk of hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV can get vaccinated to protect them against these infections – some of which can lead to cancers.
These vaccines are especially important for those who are living with HIV, and those who have multiple sexual partners and change partners frequently.
Don’t forget to use condoms to protect against other STIs and HIV.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is available free through GUM & HIV clinics to MSM who are up to and including 45 years of age.
The vaccine will help to prevent HPV infection which can cause genital warts and HPV-associated cancers. It is especially important for those who are living with HIV, and those who have multiple sexual partners.
Information about the HPV vaccine, the diseases that it will help to protect against and how to help protect yourself from genital warts and HPV associated cancers is available on the NHS website. Or you can download a leaflet.
The Hepatitis A vaccine is available free through GUM & HIV clinics to men who have sex with men (MSM) of any age.
The vaccine will help prevent Hepatitis A which is a liver infection that's spread by a virus in poo. The infection is usually spread in contaminated food or drink, or by poor hand-washing and so is often picked up on travelling abroad.
You can also get hepatitis A through sex, including oral-anal sex ("rimming") and giving oral sex after anal sex.
MSM with multiple partners are particularly at risk and there have been recent outbreaks of hepatitis A in MSM.
The Hepatitis B vaccine is available free through GUM & HIV clinics to men who have sex with men (MSM) of any age, and to those who change sexual partners frequently and have multiple partners, and those living with HIV.
The vaccine will help prevent Hepatitis B which is a liver infection. It is mainly spread by blood and bodily fluid contact, such as during sex. Hepatitis B can cause jaundice, however often there are no specific symptoms. Hepatitis B infection can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and cancer.
This website can only give you general information about contraception. The information is based on evidence-guided research from the World Health Organization and The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. All methods of contraception come with a Patient Information Leaflet which provides detailed information about the method.
Remember – contact your doctor, practice nurse or a contraception clinic if you're worried or unsure about anything.