Somerset County Council’s Public Health team is looking for views on the future shape of its targeted HIV and sexual health services.
The current contract expires at the end of the March 2019 and the team is taking the opportunity to review how its HIV and sexual health prevention and HIV support services are provided in the county.
It wants to make sure make sure that those at greatest risk of poor sexual health are supported to look after their own sexual health and access the right support when they need it, making use of new practices and technology.
The service currently covers targeted HIV prevention, targeted sexual health promotion and support for people living with HIV. Its funding – around £150,000 a year – will not change and the aim is for the new way of providing support to be finalised early in the New Year with no interruption to support when the contract ends.
Anyone with an interest in HIV and sexual health prevention and HIV support – whether or not they make use of the services – is invited to give their views through an online consultation which can be found at www.somersetconsults.org.uk
Councillor Christine Lawrence, Cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council, said: “It’s been four years since this service was designed and now is the right time to looks at how we do things.
“There have been all sorts of developments in approaches, practices and technologies so we will be looking at how they could be incorporated to make these services as effective as possible.
“To aid our thinking we will be talking to people who use the services already but would be delighted to hear from anyone who has an interest.”
As well as the online survey, people can share their views by emailing the team on TPS@somerset.gov.uk or speaking to staff at any of the county’s Sexual Health Clinics. The consultation closes on 24 December.
Somerset County Council is responsible for ensuring that adults and young people in Somerset can access free and confidential sexual health services for contraception, testing for HIV and the testing and treatment of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).