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The state-of-the-art new sexual health service that’s hassle-free and free of charge.

 


With an efficient, no-nonsense approach to sexual health testing, this revolutionary new website is a much-needed resource in the gay community. SH:24 are a community interest company, working in partnership with the NHS, integrating their services to focus on giving people diagnoses as swiftly as possible, while acknowledging the all-important need for respect and discretion. And they are important factors to recognise. Fear of exposure as well as an unwillingness, or even embarrassment, to go and sort out the problem is a major cause of rising sexually transmitted infections in the UK. Us Brits are notoriously bad at going to the doctor.

SH:24 gets around this by allowing its users to send off for home testing kits for the four most common STI’s; chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV. It comes with a freepost envelope to send your samples back in, and there is no need to put your name or personal details on any post/samples you send back. If you have a positive result you get fast-tracked at a local sexual health clinic.

The website is entirely free of charge to residents of Lambeth and Southwark, two areas that have some of the highest rates of infection in the UK, and large populations of social groups statistically most likely to contract STIs; young people, gay men and BME communities.

As well as liaising with the NHS, SH:24 have collaborated with Lambeth and Southwark councils, who commission the service for their residents. SH:24 would like to expand the service to other parts of London and the country – If you don’t live in Lambeth and Southwark but would like to access such a service – email [email protected] so they can let other local authority commissioners know there is a demand for the service.

SH:24’s Programme Director, Dr Gillian Holdsworth, said: “A third of people attending sexual health clinics could potentially self-manage using SH:24, thereby avoiding a clinic visit. We also know many people who want or need a test don’t get tested for a number of reasons – inconvenience, embarrassment about going to a clinic, or not realising they’re at risk. SH:24 aims to increase efficiency and improve the experience for users, as well as radically improving sexual health outcomes. It’s available 24 hours a day, with confidentiality and results by text within a week guaranteed.”

 

• The service is now live at www.sh24.org.uk.

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