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THT & Wiltshire College launch new sexual health clinic for young people

HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust and Wiltshire College are working in partnership to launch a new sexual health clinic at the college’s Lackham campus on Wednesday 3rd October. The new clinic is one of three that have been opened across the college’s campuses as part of the NHS-funded partnership and will employ trained Terrence Higgins Trust staff to provide tailored sexual health services for students.

The event gave a chance to unveil the new purpose-built clinic, which has already been awarded ‘Young Person Friendly’ accreditation from NHS Wiltshire, and to officially launch two further clinics delivered by the Terrence Higgins Trust at the college’s Chippenham and Trowbridge campuses.

The new clinics will provide advice and information on sexual health, testing for sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, free condoms, pregnancy testing and advice, contraception, rapid HIV testing and emergency contraception, for all students at the college, the majority of whom are aged 16 to 19.

Young people are one of the groups most at risk of sexual ill health. In 2011, more than 13,000 people aged between 15 and 24 were diagnosed with Chlamydia in the South West of England, accounting for 85 per cent of all diagnoses. In 2010, there were more than 2,800 pregnancies among under-18s in the region.

Louise Sweeney, Health Promotion Specialist at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Many of the young people who attend this college live in rural areas, making it difficult for them to access sexual health services conveniently. This innovative partnership with Wiltshire College is a great way of reaching out to young people in their own environment. Working with schools and colleges is vital to give young people access to the services and advice they need to make informed choices about their sexual health.”

Di Dale, Principal and Chief Executive of Wiltshire College said “The new clinic will provide an important source of information, help and support for students. Our Community Campus programme encourages all our students to take responsibility for their health and well-being and the clinic will play an important part in this. The specialist support that working with the Terence Higgins Trust and Wiltshire NHS staff brings to the College is invaluable to our students.”

To ensure consistency across each of the college’s four main campuses, a similar sexual health service is provided by Salisbury NHS on the college’s Salisbury campus