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RCN urges government action on STDs

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is calling on the government to improve healthcare resources to combat sexually-transmitted diseases.

The demand comes at the start of a Family Planning Association (fpa) bid to combat STDs during Sexual Health Week, which runs until 12 August.

RCN executive director Janet Davies said: "Sexual Health Week is an opportunity to look ahead to make sure that there is an adequate provision of services to give the best possible outcome for people with HIV/Aids.

"The RCN urges the government to ensure that sufficient resources are put in place to provide cost-effective healthcare, and to also make sure that HIV remains a public health priority.

"As certain groups of the population remain more affected by HIV than others, it is vital to make sure that healthcare professionals in all settings feel empowered to promote and encourage access to HIV testing, and help to address the remaining stigma still associated with HIV, as well as advocating for inclusive services and policies.

"The good news is that the Health Protection Agency recently published figures showing that there has been a decrease in the rate of some STIs, such as syphilis and gonorrhoea.

"Great strides have been made in sexual health. But to tackle all sexually-transmitted infections we need to make sure that money allocated by the government for sexual health is being ring-fenced and used for that purpose, rather than to balance NHS deficits."

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Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
family planning association (fpa)