Good sexual health is an important part of overall physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. It is central to the development of some of the most important relationships in our lives and can greatly impact other aspects of our health and wider wellbeing.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can significantly add to the burden of disease in the local population. Whilst everyone who is sexually active risks exposure to a STI, some groups are at a higher risk:

  • men who have sex with men
  • younger adults
  • people from black and ethnic minority groups
  • people in prisons and immigration removal centres (IRCs).

There is also an association between STIs and deprivation.

As sexual health can have such wide impacts, effective links and pathways between services are important. This includes services tackling substance misuse, mental health and those that support vulnerable young people and adults, including young people in care and people with learning disabilities.

The most recent needs assessment examines reproductive and sexual health in people aged over 16 years old and includes all the sexual health commissioning responsibilities in West Sussex. The report also considers what promotes and supports good sexual health.