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Home testing kits for STIs available in Sandwell

Published 29th November 2018

Sexual health services in Sandwell have been redesigned, making it quicker and easier for people to access support and look after their sexual health.

Sandwell residents over 16 years of age can now order home testing kits to check whether they have a sexually transmitted infection.

The availability of the kits coincides with World Aids Day - 1 December.

Much progress has been made in the fight against HIV. Now with an early diagnosis and access to treatment, people living with HIV can expect the same life expectancy as the rest of the population.

The home testing kits test for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Councillor Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for public health and protection, said: "Looking after our sexual health is as important as looking after our general health, but can get neglected, due to embarrassment or concerns about diagnosis and treatment.

"However, by offering a service that enables people to carry out a test in private, pop the kit in the post and receive their results by text – we hope to take away some of these worries. Detecting STIs early is so important as this means they can be more easily treated."

Ansaf Azhar, Sandwell's interim director of public health, said: “This is the first time in Sandwell that people can get tested for common STIs at a time and place that suits.

"We understand that most people are living busy lives and making health care more accessible at a time and place that suits the individual is central to how we shape our public health services going forward.”

Sandwell Sexual Health Service provides various support to help maintain good sexual health – including advice and guidance about sexually transmitted diseases, sexual health promotion services, and access to contraception.

Walk in clinics and bookable appointments are also available across the borough.

For more information about the Sandwell Sexual Health Service  or  call 0800 011 46 56 or 0121 569 5100, text GETHEALTHY to 87007 or email LS@nhs.net