New sexual health service launched in Peterborough

A new sexual health service is being launched in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire by leading HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust to promote good sexual health in the county.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 3:46 pm

The service, which is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, will work across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

It will help local people and in particular some vulnerable groups to look after their sexual health and encourage more people to regularly test for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Support will be offered for people living with HIV and for sex workers in the county, along with helping people to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

There are key challenges for people’s sexual and reproductive health across the two areas. Teenage pregnancy in Peterborough remain worse than the national average while one in two people (49.5%) in Cambridge and 45% in Peterborough who are diagnosed with HIV are diagnosed late – both higher than the national average. A late diagnosis is classed as coming after damage to the immune system has already begun.

Health

To tackle the high rates of late HIV diagnosis, there will be an increase in testing as part of the new service. This will be a confidential service which is easy to access.

Terrence Higgins Trust will work closely with Change Grow Live (CGL) and the charity East to deliver some parts of the service. It will also work with a range of partners especially those working with young people and vulnerable groups to ensure that their needs are met.

The Sexual Ill Health Prevention Service works flexibly across the county and city but has bases at Mill House in Cambridge and CGL Aspire Substance Misuse Service in Peterborough. Like other Services it has had to change its ways of working in response the Covid-19 pandemic with services being delivered in different ways which includes digital options alongside other measures to keep everyone safe from coronavirus.

Glenda Bonde, Service and Partnership Manager for Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Our brand new service launched today will provide vital information to improve knowledge and awareness of sexual health and contraception issues in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This includes working closely with partners and community groups, as well as providing workshops and sessions online and – when it’s safe to do so – in schools.

“We will also be doing testing for HIV and other STIs, as well as work to support the groups most affected by poor sexual health, including young people, gay and bisexual men and BAME communities. We’re committed to playing our part to ensure good sexual health is a right and reality for everyone.”

If you have any questions about HIV, you can call Terrence Higgins Trust’s free, confidential helpline THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 or visit www.tht.org.uk.