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Sexual Health

Sexual health, HIV and AIDS

It's important to pay attention to your sexual health, whether you are in a long term relationship or not. Practising safe sex and always using a condom ensures that you reduce the risk of infection for you and your sexual partner(s) and avoid unwanted pregnancies.

What do I do if I need treatment or advice?
You can make an appointment with your doctor (GP) or visit one of the Spectrum sexual health and contraception clinics.

Spectrum (formally Brook, The Shine and Barnardo’s Targeted Sexual Health Service) delivers sexual health services for women, men and young people across Wigan and Leigh.


Services include:

  • All methods of contraception including emergency contraception. Young people can get free condoms by registering with the CCard Scheme.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) screening and tests, including Chlamydia, HIV and treatments for most STIs

  • Pregnancy testing, advice on unplanned pregnancy and other sexual health issues, and pelvic ultrasound

  • Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B

Information and advice on relationships.
To access these services call 01942 483188 or visit Spectrum (external link).

Anyone can walk into the services without an appointment and will always be seen if they need emergency contraception.


Emergency contraception
Emergency contraception (also known as the morning after pill) can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy but the earlier it is taken the more effective it is. 

It is available free from:

  • Your doctors surgery

  • Spectrum (external link) (01942 483188)

  • Most pharmacists - Find your nearest pharmacy offering emergency contraception (external link). Please ring the pharmacy beforehand to check that their EHC Authorised Pharmacist is on duty.

  • During Bank Holidays or when above services are closed you can get emergency contraception from the A&E Department, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary (01942 822440).

  • An IUD can be used as emergency contraception if inserted within 5 days of unprotected sex - call Spectrum (01942 483188) or your own GP to find out more.

Local and national services

  • Spectrum (external link) (01942 483188). Services run from two main clinics:

    • Wigan - Galleries Shopping Centre, 6 Wigan Galleries, Wigan, WN1 1AR – (formally known as The Shine Centre)

    • Leigh – Leigh Health Centre, Entrance C, The Avenue, Leigh, WN7 IHR

  • FPA (Family Planning Association) (external link)

  • Sexual Health Line (NHS) - 0800 567 123.


If you are living with HIV/AIDS or think you might have HIV, there is advice and support available at Spectrum, who are the providers of sexual health services in Wigan & Leigh.

If you think you might have HIV, it is still advised to get tested. You can do this by:

  • Ordering an online test through Free Testing HIV.

  • Contacting Spectrum, The Galleries (01942 483 188) or Sullivan Way Surgery (079744 90068).

  • Arranging for a HIV test through your GP if you prefer.

If you have had unprotected sex with someone who has HIV, you can take PEP (which is sometimes called PEPSE) which is a combination of HIV drugs that can stop the virus from taking hold. It can be used after the event if you've been at risk of HIV transmission.

It must be taken within 72 hours of exposure.

PEP is not a ‘morning after pill’ for HIV and there is no guarantee it will work. It’s meant as an emergency measure to be used as a last resort, such as if a condom fails during sex. Taking PEP will not protect you from other sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancy.

If you would like to know more about PEP, please contact Spectrum The Galleries (01942 483 188).

If you are living with HIV and require support, you can contact:

What is PrEP?
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a drug that people at risk of HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.

PrEP is a tablet which contains Tenofovir and Emtricitabine which are drugs commonly used to treat HIV. It is sometimes called Truvada but most of the PrEP we use in the UK is generic PrEP.

PrEP is now available free on the NHS in England from sexual health clinics.

If you are living with HIV and require support, you can contact:

Support services

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