The Eddystone Trust
The Eddystone Trust is an independent sexual health charity based in the South West, UK.
We challenge the stigma, discrimination and misinformation associated with HIV and sexual health.
To do this we offer a range of services that includes non judgemental advice, free testing and condoms, support for people living with HIV and training for anyone who wants to know more about sexual health. We believe that good sexual health is about more than 'sperms and germs' and aim to ensure that everyone has access to everything they need to be able to define their own sexuality and to make the choices about sex and sexual health that are right for them.
We believe HIV testing should be available for people in a way that means they are accessible, discreet and the results get to you quickly. If you feel you may have been exposed to a potential risk of infection, or you feel you should check your status for peace of mind then we can help you get access to HIV testing kits.
People can get anxious when they think they have exposed themselves to HIV. It is common for people to read symptoms of HIV online and over- analyse anything similar they have experienced during this time. Not everyone experiences symptoms and the only way you can be sure of your status is to take a test within the advised window period.
Living With HIV
Have you been recently diagnosed HIV+?
If you're diagnosed with HIV, you'll have blood tests which will monitor the progress of the HIV. This will be a HIV viral load test - a blood test that monitors the amount of HIV virus in your blood. You will also have CD4 lymphocyte cell count - which measures how the HIV has affected your immune system.
Treatment, referred to as Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) can usually be expected to start straight away. This can be as simple as one or two tablets a day.
You can live well with successful HIV treatment reaching an Undetectable Viral Load. This will mean you are untransmittable, unable to pass HIV on to another person. This is referred to as U=U, Undetectable = Untransmittable.
The Eddystone Trust provide free condoms and lube across Cornwall, Plymouth, Devon Torbay, and Gloucestershire via our 'Condoms by Post' service.
You can also pick up our condoms and lube from various spots across the south west such as saunas, LGBTQ venues and support agencies. Get in touch with us to find out where you can pick up condoms local to you.
We also deliver the C-Card scheme for under 25's in Gloucestershire meaning that young people can access free condoms via the post or in pharmacies and venues across the area.
Where can I get free condoms?
If you are a man, trans or non-binary person who has sex with other men and you live in Cornwall, Plymouth, Devon and Torbay and Gloucestershire you can access free condoms and lube via The Eddystone Trust's Condoms By Post scheme.
Condoms and where to get them
You might already know this logo, but if you don't it's the C-Card scheme. Wherever you see this logo it's a place where you can get FREE CONDOMS and sexual health advice, and it's totally confidential: if you live in Plymouth or Gloucestershire you need to be under 25, for Somerset it's under 19 and in some cases under 25.
How do I get one?
1. Registration - a young person will have a 1-2-1 intervention with a trained worker and be assessed for what is known as Fraser or Gillick competency. This means that if you are under 16, you are mature enough to understand what sex is and that you are assessed as needing information and guidance as well as condoms. Don't forget, the age of consent for all young people (straight or gay) is 16. We take consent really seriously.
If you are really ready for sex, then you'll probably need to:
- Be able to talk about how to manage pressure to have sex and receive other delay messages
- Demonstrate how to use a condom effectively and correctly
- Understand the ways in which a condom can prevent STIs and pregnancy
- Know what action to take if something goes wrong when using a condom
- Understand how condoms can be damaged
- Know how to dispose of condoms correctly
- You will be given information about other sexual health services and other distribution C-Card sites
2. Distribution - Young people, if already registered, can pick up condoms when they show their C-Card.
PEP and PrEP
What is PEP and PrEP?
PEP and PrEP are forms of preventative HIV medication for people to take to stop them acquiring HIV. PrEP stand for "PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS" and is a drug you would take pre-exposure to HIV to prevent you from contracting the virus. PEP stands for "POST EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS" and is a drug you would take if you feel you had had been potentially exposed to the virus from either unprotrcted sex or another form of contact such as an accidental needle prick. If taken within 72 hours PEP could prevent you from contacting the HIV virus.
Do you feel like the weekend has gone on too long?
Have you forgotten how sober sex feels?
Do you want to change your relationship with sex and chems, reduce how much chems you are using?
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- Everyone, under 18 years old
- Sexual health
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