Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cause a wide range of illnesses and ill health; they are a significant cause of long term and serious disability, and can lead to premature death. Unwanted pregnancy has a significant human and life-changing impact on individuals, especially teenagers. Teenage pregnancy is a health inequality and social exclusion issue, leading to poor health and social outcomes for the mother and baby. The termination of an unwanted pregnancy can have lasting physical and psychological effects, leading to further health problems in the future. Poor access to sexual health services contributes to the increase in STIs; rapid diagnosis of STIs is important to allow for fast treatment and to prevent more people becoming infected. A person's sexual health is also influenced significantly by their sexual attitudes and behaviour.
The sexual health needs assessment (2015) also provides additional data and intelligence around a number of issues pertinent to good sexual health, including specific priorities and recommendations.
The aim of the sexual health profile is to create an overview of each district/borough with the latest statistics and interpretation regarding progress and areas of concern to further enhance understanding and awareness of the teenage pregnancy and sexual health agendas. It contains data and analysis on conception rates and terminations as well as sexually transmitted diseases.
The data within this brief report reflects the easily accessible data for sexual health and as such is heavily weighted towards conception data. By intent or omission this data does not represent the focus of attention for sexual health. The strategy and action plan for sexual health fully acknowledges that sexual health needs vary according to factors such as age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity; and some groups are particularly at risk of poor sexual health.