Sexual Health

JSNA > Starting Well

Sexual health is an integral part of overall well-being, contributing to individuals’ happiness and quality of life and essential for building healthy relationships.

Sexual health is a broad topic including:

  • Genito-urinary medicine
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • HIV
  • Contraception
  • Psychosexual medicine
  • Termination of pregnancy services
  • Sexual and reproductive health

Sexual health is both physical sexual health and sexual wellbeing. Sexual wellbeing includes promoting sexual rights, healthy relationships, intimacy, sexual pleasure, and consent.

Sexual health services must be provided by law as they are an important part of our overall health. They can be delivered in various settings, by local authorities, GPs, pharmacies, voluntary and community sector organisations, schools, colleges, universities and youth services.

Key messages

PLEASE NOTE: We also have a dedicated JSNAA page on the topic of Teenage Conceptions

Data report:

Assessments and audits

A Sexual Health Services Health Equity Audit is in progress and will be published in 2024.

Our strategies, plans and groups

The County Durham Sexual Health Strategy 2023-2028  has a vision:

…that everyone in County Durham will have access to high quality, inclusive and confidential sexual health support.

The strategy has five key priority areas:

  1. Relationships Education (RE), and Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) across the life course
  2. Teenage conceptions, pregnancy and support for young parents
  3. Contraception
  4. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) and HIV
  5. Reproductive health

A multi-agency Sexual Health Oversight Group and a Teenage Pregnancy Steering Group meets bi-monthly and supports the delivery of the strategy.

The evidence base

British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH): BASHH guidelines

Department of Health and Social Care guidance: A Framework for Sexual Health Improvement in England (2013)

Department of Health and Social Care plan: Towards Zero: the HIV Action Plan for England – 2022 to 2025

NICE guidance products on Sexual Health

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities guidance: Sexual and reproductive health and HIV: applying All Our Health

Public Health England guidance: Syphilis: Public Health England action plan


Other relevant links