Last year saw a record number of people visiting their local sexual health clinic, and while this may sound like a good thing, cuts to funding mean that sexual health services are under more strain than ever before.
Cuts to funding and a rise in STIs
Around 1,500 people per week visit a clinic, which is very impressive, but local clinics are unable to meet the demand after receiving cuts to staff and funding – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/brexit-welfare-cuts-david-cameron-austerity-public-spending-referendum-vote-ukip-a8466306.html. In fact, funding for sexual health services has completely changed. In the past, it was directly funded by the NHS, but now it is funded entirely by local authorities. This happened six years ago, but due to planned funding cuts of around £600 million, local councils are struggling to find the money for sexual health services.
This is very problematic, and it has already led to a rise in STIs; syphilis diagnoses have increased by over 100% over the last year, and gonorrhoea diagnoses are also on the up.
One solution to this problem is at home testing kits, as this means that people can test themselves in the privacy of their own home. This is much more convenient than having to travel to a clinic and wait for a few hours.
If you want to order London home STI kits to your house, go to https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org/chlamydia_screening/ to find out more.
Why this is even more problematic for women
The cuts to funding will have a negative effect on both men and women, but it is likely that women will bear the brunt of the cuts. This is because sexual health services are already reducing their contraception provision, and over a third of clinics plan to stop delivering as many contraceptive services. So it will be harder than ever before for women to find contraception, especially if they are over 25.
It is essential for local councils to address these issues so that they can improve sexual health services across the UK. One current solution that seems to be effective is at home testing kits, especially for younger people, as this means that people can test themselves at home without having to have a potentially embarrassing conversation with a medical professional. It also means that sexual health services receive fewer patients.