Using online video conferencing platforms safely and securely

As we navigate new ways to deliver care and support through online services, it’s important to ensure the safety and security of people accessing these services, especially where their personal information is concerned.

The following information provides some guidance for people working in HIV and sexual health organisations who are currently delivering services through popular webinar, virtual meeting and video conferencing platforms.

Platforms and applications

Zoom has become the video conferencing platform of choice for most organisations and the majority of information herein will refer to this application. However, there are alternatives available:

Suitable for work with service users

  • Google Duo provides video conferencing for up to 12 people and is available via web and mobile devices. Video and audio calls are end-to-end encrypted.
  • Webex is a popular video conferencing and webinar platform already used by many businesses. Video calling supports end-to-end encryption.
  • GoToMeeting provides a similar service and includes end-to-end encryption as standard. There are no free plans.

Suitable for work with teams and colleagues

  • Microsoft Teams is a ‘full-package’ collaborating tool which is one of the most comprehensive options available; with good security features and streamlined synchronisation with other Microsoft Office applications. However, it can be complicated and clunky compared to Zoom, which is simple and straightforward to use, or other options.
  • Skype, Slack (paid plan only) and Facebook Messenger provide means to communicate by video but without full end-to-end encryption.

Using Zoom safely and securely

There has been noticeable media attention relating to ‘zoombombs’ in which uninvited trolls enter meetings and disrupt them by talking over meeting hosts or sharing undesirable content via video or screen share options.

There are some simple steps to avoid this practice:

  • Do not share Zoom meeting numbers publically, send the joining information in private emails to registered attendees.
  • Create a new meeting ID for each event or meeting rather than using your own personal meeting ID.
  • Create a password for your meeting, and never share this publicly.
  • Enable a waiting room (see advanced options), this will allow you to block anyone from joining who you were not expecting.
  • As a meeting host you can decide whether you want to give all meeting attendees the option of sharing their screens.
  • Once all of your attendees have arrived you can lock meetings to prevent anyone else from joining.

Recording meetings

Hosts can record audio and video from meetings and capture the chat function via meeting reports, including private 1-2-1 conversations between attendees.

  • Hosts should advise people in advance if they intend to record and share webinars and other educational meetings.
  • Avoid discussing confidential matters with other attendees if you do not want the information shared with the meeting organiser.

Zoom provides a comprehensive guide to security of their platform including information on:

  • Protecting your meetings
  • Protecting your data
  • Protecting your privacy

If you are concerned about the security and privacy in relation to providing services where personal information may be shared (for example online counselling), read more about Zoom’s security features and specific information regarding encryption for meetings.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines and resources for HIV and sexual health sector

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created the biggest public health challenge in living memory. As the NHS continues to respond to the pandemic, the HIV and sexual health sector has adapted quickly to continue to support the populations it serves.

Our health systems and services delivered by the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector are finding new ways to deliver care and support by telephone, online and via their communication channels.

The following information provides sector guidelines for people working in HIV and sexual health, including resources for communities in response to the challenges coronavirus have presented.

Guidelines for health and sector professionals

British HIV Association (BHIVA)

British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH)

Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FRSH)


The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH)

Community resources and information

Terrence Higgins Trust

NAT (National AIDS Trust)



Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), Migrants Organise, and Medact

Correlation Network, Europe


World Health Organisation (WHO)


As new information arises we will update accordingly.

Manchester launches new HIV campaign

HIV: Let's sort this together.

The PaSH Partnership (BHA for Equality, George House Trust, and LGBT Foundation) have launched a new campaign which aims to end new cases of HIV in Greater Manchester.

Launched at the HIV Commission Hearing Session on 13 February 2020, the HIV: Let’s sort this together campaign is part of the first phase towards Greater Manchester’s ambition of ending all new cases of HIV within a generation by reducing transmissions, late HIV diagnoses, and eventually new diagnoses of HIV. This is an important part of the Greater Manchester Population Health Plan for residents to have the best start in life, and to live and age well.

The campaign

The campaign motivates residents of Greater Manchester to take charge of their sexual health and plan a safer, more enjoyable sex life in a number of ways:

  • TEST: Encourage residents to test regularly for HIV by providing information on how and where to test.
  • MANAGE: Advise those who test positive for HIV how to manage their HIV treatment and receive the support they need to reach undetectable and, therefore, untransmittable viral levels (U=U).
  • PREVENT: Inform and encourage methods such as PEP, PrEP, and condoms and lube.

The campaign is promoted via:

  • social media and digital advertising
  • radio and out-of-home advertising
  • the Sort HIV website
  • merchandise for community events
  • PR

Get involved

Community leaders, faith leaders, GPs, sexual health clinics and other stakeholders are invited to take part by:

  • Using promotional materials such as print-ready posters and flyers, waiting room screens and digital assets, including email footers, website banners and desktop wallpaper – access via Dropbox.
  • Sharing the campaign on your social media channels and through internal communications.
  • Telling service users and community members about, where they can access information about HIV and prevention as well as links to order home testing kits.
  • Using the hashtag #SortHIV to talk about the campaign on social media.

HPE Conference 2020

HPE organises a conference to bring together professionals working in HIV prevention and sexual health in England, as well as other key figures and influencers in the field of HIV. The 2020 conference took place on Tuesday 18 February in central London.

Download the programme [PDF]

Coming soon: conference presentations

Morning conference sessions

Opening plenary

  • Welcome: Adam Winter, Public Health England.
  • Keynote Speech: Bruce Richman, Prevention Access Campaign.
  • The HIV Commission: Dame Inga Beale, HIV Commission.
  • Progress towards getting to zero transmissions, zero deaths and zero stigma due to HIV in the UK: Dr Valerie Delpech, Public Health England.
  • Chair: Ian Green, Terrence Higgins Trust.

HIV testing: Breaking barriers, driving access

  • Changing trends of HIV risks among MSM in London: Dee Wang, Spectra and The GMI partnership
  • Reducing barriers to HIV self-testing among black Africans: George Halfin, Terrence Higgins Trust
  • Incentivised HIV testing at food banks: Anne Glew, The Brunswick Centre
  • A reflection of seven years of HIV testing during National HIV Testing Week in Croydon: Denise Dixon (On behalf of Fred Semugera) Croydon Council

Afternoon conference sessions

Ensuring PrEP access and uptake in key populations

  • Attitudes and factors determining PrEP uptake in London: Dee Wang, Spectra and The GMI partnership
    MobPresh: women, PrEP and sexual health: Amelia Thorp, Yorkshire MESMAC
  • Are MSM using PrEP safely? Results from an online questionnaire: Greg Owen, I Want PrEP Now
  • PrEP and Prejudice: PrEP initiative for BA communities: Juddy Otti, Africa Advocacy Foundation
  • Reflections from a woman PrEP user: Haru Majengwa

STIs and sexual health: what’s working to reach highly affected groups

  • STI diagnoses among asymptomatic MSM in community testing services: Alissa Ferry, Positive East and the GMI partnership
  • Increasing STI e-testing uptake among black queer men: Phil Samba, PrEPster
  • Different community models to reach key populations in the North of England: Wellington Moyo and Pat McCusker, Yorkshire MESMAC
  • Age is no Protection: sexual health promotion in the over 50s: Steve Maddern, Wiltshire Council and Age UK
  • Improving Trans and Non Binary sexual health: third sector partnership with GUM services: Patrick Hands and Dr Madeleine Crow, Yorkshire MESMAC and Leeds Sexual Health

Closing plenary

  • The HIV Prevention Programme 2016-2019: Chamut Kifetew, Terrence Higgins Trust
  • Overview of future HIV technologies: Simon Collins, i-Base
  • No one left behind, panel discussion: Dr Vanessa Apea, Luis Guerra, Ian Howley, Lizzie Jordan, Harvey Kennedy and Michelle Ross

HIV Prevention England Conference 2020

There’s less than one week to go before the HPE Conference 2020 and we are excited to bring together more than 300 professionals who work in HIV prevention, sexual health and beyond.

The conference programme will explore ways to improve the nation’s sexual health, reduce the rising rates in sexually transmitted infections and reach zero new HIV diagnoses by 2030.

This event will provide a platform for open discussion as well as practical learning opportunities that delegates can take back to their organisations, clinics and other places of work.

We’re delighted to share the final HPE conference 2020 programme [PDF].

This event is now at full capacity – but you can still get involved.

Participate online

We will be live-streaming the Opening and Closing Plenary sessions (9.30am and 3.45pm) on YouTube. Breakout sessions in the main hall will also be available to watch online which include:

  • HIV Testing: Breaking barriers, driving access (11am to 12.15pm)
  • Ensuring PrEP access and uptake in key populations (1.00pm to 2.10pm)
  • STIs and sexual health: what’s working to reach highly affected groups (2.15pm to 3.30pm)

You can also follow the conference on Twitter, where we will be inviting delegates to discuss the presentations and workshops, our event hashtag is #HPE2020.

The conference is organised by Terrence Higgins Trust for HIV Prevention England (HPE), the national HIV prevention programme commissioned by Public Health England.

We wish to thank our corporate sponsors whose support has helped to provide an enhanced conference experience.

Sponsor logos - ByMe, Pasante, Gilead, Viiv