Sexual health: NICE issues new quality standard

  • NICE

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued an updated quality standard focusing on sexual health, particularly prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with respect to high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

The key goals of the quality standard are improvements in the following areas:

  • Incidence of STIs;
  • Early diagnoses of STIs;
  • Condom and lubricant use;
  • Experience of using sexual health services.

The quality standard covers the following 6 recommendations:

  1. Individuals should be enquired about their sexual history at key points of contact.
  2. Individuals deemed at risk for STIs should have a discussion regarding prevention and testing.
  3. Local authorities should set up condom distribution schemes tailored to the requirements of their populations.
  4. Individuals contacting a sexual health service about a STI should be given an appointment within 2 working days.
  5. Ongoing testing every 3 months is recommended for 'men who have sex with men' if they have a high risk for STIs.
  6. Individuals diagnosed with a STI should be encouraged to notify their partners.

Health professionals should also take into consideration the quality standards on HIV testing: encouraging uptake, Physical health of people in prisons, Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing, Contraception and Hepatitis B when providing services for sexual health.

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