Collection of colorful condoms

Call for sexual health strategy

The Local Government Association has called for the next government to launch a new long-term sexual health strategy, following a rise in sexually transmitted infections.

A new sexual health strategy has not been introduced since 2001, however the LGA has called for a new one as challenges around sustainable funding, workforce, and service fragmentation need to be addressed.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency has revealed that there was a 4.7% increase in the number of new STIs in England between 2022 and 2023, with last year seeing 401,800 diagnoses. There was also a 5% increase in the number of consultations that were delivered by sexual health services over the same period, rising from 4,392,466 to 4,610,410.

STI infographic

According to councils, this has come due to a perfect storm formed by challenges when trying to access contraception, as well as spiraling demand, as infection rates are driven up.

Councillor David Fothergill, the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board Chairman, said:

“Councils want to continue encouraging more people to visit their local sexual health clinic, in particular under-served communities.

“However, today’s figures show sexual health services continue to face rising demand pressures.

“This is why we are calling for a new 10-year strategy to tackle infection rates, and ensure that sexual health services are properly funded and resourced in the long term.”


Image credit: iStock


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