Britain's favorite agony aunts, Gill Cox, Jenni Trent-Hughes, Susan Quilliam, Tracey Cox, Emma Marlin, Deirdre Sanders, Denise Robinson, Zelda West-Meads and Dr. Pam Spurr joined leagues to support the sexual health charities initiative Brook, the Terrence Higgins Trust, the FPA (Family Planning Association) and MedFASH to protect vital sexual health service.
To prevent a steep decline in the nation's sexual health, the charities and agony aunts demand the Government and decision-makers to continue keeping up their commitment.
The UK's health record is still a matter of concern in terms of some of the worst sexually transmitted infection rates in Western Europe, even though a substantial progress has already been made. Between 2008 and 2010 chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes diagnoses have consistently risen with HIV continuing to represent the UK's fastest growing serious health risk. Another major concern is unplanned pregnancies, which have risen by 8% since 2000, and even though teenage pregnancies are currently at their lowest rate in 30 years, the UK nevertheless has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe.
Every day the charities offer a wide spectrum of sexual health needs to support thousands of people in the UK. Their services include providing information, offering pregnancy choices, personalized services on contraception, preventing sexually transmitted infections, testing, care and support.
Not long ago Brook, FPA, Terrence Higgins Trust, and MedFASH lost essential services to local communities' needs; Brook's young people's sexual health services in Stockton, the Terrence Higgins Trust's HIV prevention services in Wales and the FPA Speakeasy parenting, sex and relationships education program in England. The future of other charities and NHS services also seem unsure.
Because of these cutbacks, the agony aunts joint forces with the charities to unitedly call upon the Government to improve and expand sexual health services instead of than making cutbacks or reducing the services. In a statement the group declares:
"During economic uncertainty, sexual health services are often seen as easy targets - they're more likely to go first or lose more of their funding compared to others. Good sexual health is essential to physical and mental health as well as positive relationships, self-esteem and self-identity and personal responsibility. We're here to remind decision makers that sexual health services must be protected."
Written by Petra Rattue