HIV and sexual health services are “at breaking point”, says Terrence Higgins Trust after a new Public Health England report.
Public Health England has today (August 30) published a report into the current picture of sexual health, reproductive health and HIV services, and the challenges faced by commissioners.
Terrence Higgins Trust has welcomed this report but warned it confirms fears that these vital services are “at breaking point”.
Ian Green, CEO of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We welcome this report, which sets out honest reflections on the current state of HIV and sexual health services in England. Sadly this confirms the fears that we, and many others, have highlighted – these vital services are at breaking point.
“Demand is rising while budgets are shrinking; HIV and sexual health services are reeling from a combination of national Government funding cuts to local authorities, a lack of prioritisation by some local councils, and lasting damage from the Health and Social Care Act, which led to fragmented and uncoordinated commissioning.
“This cannot go on. We welcome the actions set out in this report, but this action plan does not commit to new funding and does not address the shortfall left by the damaging cuts made to public health budgets. Without additional investment in HIV and sexual health services, it is unclear how a sexual health crisis can be avoided.
“In these challenging times, commissioners need to work closely alongside affected communities and third sector organisations to find innovative ways to deliver services that meet the need – and clear unmet need – of local people at risk of HIV and poor sexual health.”