Genito-urinary Medicine: Young People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 27 November 2023.

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Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to provide (a) advice on and (b) services for safe sexual health to people under 25 years of age.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Local authority commissioned sexual health services (SHSs) play and important role in improving sexual health outcomes and preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including communicating messages about safer sexual behaviours and how to access services. We are providing more than £3.5 billion to local authorities to fund public health services, including SHSs, through the public health grant in this financial year. Individual local authorities are responsible for and well placed to make funding and commissioning decisions about the SHSs that best meet the needs of their local populations, including services for young people.

The National Chlamydia Screening Programme focuses on reducing reproductive harm of untreated infection in young women aged between 15 to 24 years old. The programme has the secondary aims of reducing re-infections and onward transmission of chlamydia and raising awareness of good sexual health and a recent report by the UK Health Security Agency shows testing has increased between 2021 and 2022.

As part of the HIV Action Plan, the Department is investing over £3.5 million to deliver a National HIV Prevention Programme between 2021 and 2024 to raise awareness of HIV, STIs testing and prevention strategies, targeting populations most at high-risk of HIV, including young people. This includes the annual National HIV Testing week, during which HIV testing is promoted and funded for the whole of England.

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