Published: Wednesday, 23rd November 2016

The awareness week will remind people of the importance of good sexual health.

The borough has recently updated its sexual health services to allow people even easier access to advice and information within the community and to make it easier for people to test for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV in their own home.

From Friday 25 November, expert staff will be widely promoting how people can get help and information if they need it, plus will be raising awareness about HIV and STIs.

Awareness week

The week aims to:

  • make sure people know how to access information and treatment locally, through the Greenwich Sexual Health website and helpline
  • make sure people know how to get a home testing kit for HIV and STIs
  • make sure young people know they can access free condoms
  • encourage more young people to screen for chlamydia - and to ensure people understand the risks of this condition
  • encourage people to know their HIV status and to reduce late HIV diagnosis.

Staff will be handing out information, giving talks in schools and promoting good sexual health advice on social media.

Help and advice bus

There is also a bus providing STI testing, contraception advice and services plus general help and advice that will be in:

  • Thamesmead Leisure Centre, Friday 25 November, 11am to 5pm
  • Woolwich General Gordon Square, Thursday 1 December, 1pm to 6pm

'Early diagnosis is crucial'

Councillor David Gardner, Royal Borough of Greenwich Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: "It is so important that people take good care of their sexual health and are aware of how to seek help and advice. There are many simple steps that can be taken to protect against sexually transmitted infection and we want people to know they can access this information in a confidential non-judgmental setting right across the borough.

"It's also so essential that people know their HIV status and I urge people to get tested. South East London has some of the highest infection rates in the UK and it's very frightening that a quarter of people with HIV will not know they are infected. Treatment for HIV has vastly improved in recent years and people with the condition can lead long and healthy lives, but early diagnosis is crucial."