A new sexual health service for LGBT People in Birmingham and Solihull

Posted on 30-07-2015 by Sixth Story

From August 10 2015 Birmingham LGBT, supported by Umbrella, will take responsibility delivering sexual health services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Birmingham and Solihull.

The new sexual health service will be called Umbrella and will focus on health promotion and preventative care for the community. Birmingham LGBT will work in partnership with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, lead agency in the Umbrella system, to deliver a range of new and expanded services to the LGBT community.

Umbrella is a uniquely comprehensive partnership of local providers, including six NHS clinics, almost 100 pharmacists, GPs and third sector partners.

The aim is to deliver better sexual health outcomes by providing people with the knowledge to avoid sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV, and to know how to seek help if they are experiencing sexual coercion or violence.

Men who have sex with men (MSM), who suffer disproportionately from high rates of STI and HIV, and are a key group who require improved interventions. Birmingham LGBT will provide a holistic sexual wellbeing service to all sections of the LGBT community, as well as men who have sex with men. This is includes targeted interventions and clinics for trans people and lesbian/bi women.

There will be a phased roll-out of new services.Initially, the current services offered by Healthy Gay Life will continue to operate, in a new venue, the LGBT Centre, and include;

Advice and support around sexual health and testing.
Free Condoms and Lube

New services that will start from August 13th include:

A new drop in, symptomatic clinic, with extended opening hours from midday – 8pm every Thursday.

Self-Sampling Kits, which will test for HIV, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Hep B and Gonorrhoea, will be available from the LGBT Centre during its regular opening hours.

Over the next twelve months Birmingham LGBT will implement the following services;

7 day a week, 12 hours a day access to advice and support, plus self-sampling
A monthly trans sexual wellbeing clinic
A monthly Well Woman clinic with a sexual health focus
More outreach and testing in community venues
A peer mentoring programme focused on HIV prevention
A range of information and resources for the LGBT community on sexual health and healthy relationships

It is hoped that improved access to services generally will result in:

Increased testing, will lead to increased chlamydia diagnosis rates in the 15-24 age group and reduced late HIV diagnoses.

Prompt access to diagnosis and treatment, supplemented by partner notification, health promotion and individual behavioural interventions within clinics to address high risk sexual behaviour and alcohol or substance misuse problems, will result in fewer repeat STIs and less transmission of HIV, STIs and blood borne viruses (BBV) within the population.

A new LGBT Independent Sexual Violence Advocate will ensure the LGBT community are more aware of the issue and will increase identification of, and support for, victims of sexual exploitation.