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Letter to the Oberver about cuts to funding for HIV and sexual health

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Roy Trevelion
BHIVA Reps
Posts: 332
Letter to the Oberver about cuts to funding for HIV and sexual health
Posted on: January 15 2018, 06:59 am

Hi All,

Here's an important letter published in yesterday's Observer https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/14/big-issue-sexual-health-services-must-be-protected about reduced funding for public health and sexual health services.


Quote
We were pleased that Nick Cohen highlighted the impact of the systematic reduction in public health funding on vital prevention and clinical services (“You don’t have to be poor to be an addict. But it helps”, Comment). Like the drug and alcohol services he referred to, there is a growing deficit between need and the availability of sexual health services. In London, a number of sexual health clinics have closed recently and patients are reportedly being turned away.

We are on the verge of a crisis in sexual health services, but the stigma and blame attached to public health issues such as drug and alcohol use can also be a critical barrier to convincing hearts and minds (and voters) to fight against this predicament in sexual health. Despite this, the fight is on. Already, 5,000 people have signed a petition to protect sexual health services.

The impact of the cuts will be compounded by the removal of the ring-fence on public health funds, due in April 2020. Then, sexual health, drug and alcohol services will be competing for increasingly scarce funds alongside other council services such as social care. A plan to reverse the damage done and to protect public health and prevent avoidable consequences is desperately needed.

Deborah Gold, chief executive, National Aids Trust
Ian Green, chief executive, Terrence Higgins Trust
Professor Chloe Orkin, chair, British HIV Association
Dr Elizabeth Carlin, president, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV
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