18 July 2019 (Issue 54)
Welcome to the July issue of the Sexual Health, Reproductive Health & HIV Policy eBulletin
. Yesterday in Parliament, Peers
backed moves to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK by extending abortion access and rights to women in Northern Ireland and legalising same-sex marriage. This comes after a historic vote
in the House of Commons on 9 July in which MPs resoundingly passed a cross-party amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Function) Bill to bring regulations to Parliament to liberalise abortion and introduce equal marriage if a new Stormont Executive is not formed by 21 October. Still with Parliament, the Health and Social Care Committee has published its Sexual Health Report
calling for sufficient funding at national level to deliver quality services, a new sexual health strategy to provide clear direction and a workforce plan to deliver sexual health services over the next decade. At Government level, the DHSC has now completed its review of sexual health commissioning and Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock has announced
that public health services, including sexual and reproductive healthcare services, will remain the responsibility of local authorities.
Other items to look out for in the round-up this month include: confirmation from PHE that a universal programme for adolescent HPV immunisation
will start from September this year; final statutory guidance
from DfE on implementing RSE in schools; new annual data
from PHE showing a 5% rise in the diagnoses of STIs in England in 2018 and a new national syphilis action plan
to strengthen public health measures to reduce transmission; annual statistics on abortion
showing a 4 % increase in the number of abortions in 2018 and results of a new YouGov survey
commissioned by THT showing that only 19% of people surveyed are aware that people living with HIV and on effective treatment can’t pass the virus on.
this month is by Dr Paula Baraitser, a consultant in sexual health at King’s College Hospital and a director of the community interest online sexual health service SH:24.
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