Good sexual health is an important aspect of health and wellbeing, and it is vital that people have the information, the confidence and the means to make choices that are right for them, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or belief or disability. This helps people to develop positive relationships and enables them to protect themselves and their partners from infections and unintended pregnancy.
The highest burden of sexually related ill-health is borne by groups who often experience other inequalities in health, including men who have sex with men, young people, black and minority ethnic groups, and socio-economically deprived groups.
Diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is rising nationally. These infections have a significant impact on the health of individuals and communities. STIs which remain undiagnosed or are not effectively treated can cause long term serious health consequences. The use of effective methods to prevent transmission, access to fast diagnosis and treatment, and good partner notification processes are all important in reducing STI prevalence and improving sexual health outcomes.
Availability and effective use of contraceptive methods is necessary to reduce STI transmission, unwanted pregnancies and termination of pregnancy. This depends on good access to contraception, information on available contraceptive methods, and skills and confidence to negotiate safer sex.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Profiles have been developed by Public Health England (PHE) to support local authorities and partners to monitor the sexual and reproductive health of their population. The data is grouped into six domains: Key Indicators; HIV and STIs; Reproductive Health; Teenage Pregnancy; Wider Determinants of Health; All Indicators. The tool can be accessed by visiting Fingertips which provides a broad overview of sexual health in addition to the resources listed below.