Sexual health

What are the key inequalities?

  • Sexual health problems disproportionately affect those experiencing poverty and social exclusion. Individuals and groups who find it most difficult to access services include, asylum seekers and refugees, sex workers and their clients, those who are homeless and young people in or leaving care. The highest burden is borne by men who have sex with men and some black minority ethnic groups (NICE 2011).
  • Young people aged between 16 and 24 account for more than half of all STI diagnoses in 2011 (PHE 2015), therefore normalising and improving access to sexual health services is imperative in reducing this health inequality.
  • HIV diagnoses are higher among individuals from the black African community and evidence from a Health Needs Assessment across Bedfordshire in 2015 suggested that men from this group are less likely to access sexual health services. (Hall et al. 2015).
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to experience high rates of STIs and remain a priority for targeted HIV and STI prevention and health promotion work.

Last updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017