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Sandwell Public Health and NHS teams back World Health Organisation call for more focus on HIV prevention | Sandwell Council

Sandwell Public Health and NHS teams back World Health Organisation call for more focus on HIV prevention

Published 21st May 2021

A new report released this week by the WHO highlights achievements and gaps in the implementation of the global strategies for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

The report outlines the steps needed to eliminate these diseases as a public health threat by 2030. 

In Sandwell, the Council’s Public Health Team collaborates with Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust (SWB NHS Trust) to ensure a range of accessible sexual health services are in place.

One of the newest is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) medicine which can reduce the risk of someone contracting HIV infection. PreP is available to individuals who are assessed as being at high risk of contracting the infection, for example HIV negative men who have sex with men and trans women who report unprotected anal sex with an individual/individuals of unknown HIV status in the previous six months.

Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health for Sandwell, said “Our sexual health services are a vital part of how we keep our population safe and well. Evidence-based services, innovative treatments like PrEP, early diagnosis and good education are vital if we are to play our part in the global ambition to reduce and even eliminate HIV.

Tammy Davies, Group Director of Primary Care, Community & Therapies at SWB NHS Trust, added: “We are pleased to be able to offer this treatment free to those who would benefit, following its successful pilot across England. Our sexual health team can answer any queries or concerns, so I would urge anyone who is at risk of developing HIV to contact us to discuss options.

“This service is part of a wider collaboration between Sandwell Council and the healthcare trust on public health services including everything from sexual health services through to children’s public health nursing and Covid outbreak response.”

To contact the Integrated Sexual Health Unit Sandwell (ISHUS) service, please call 0121 612 2323. Email swbh.ishus@nhs.net or text 07860 018932.