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Caridon Foundation and GMI host free sexual health clinic in Croydon

On 1 September, Caridon Foundation, a not-for-profit specialist supported housing service, in partnership with GMI, ran a free sexual health testing and advice session from 2-7pm at Wrencote House 123 High Street CR0 0XJ. The session was attended by 21 people and now the organisation is looking to run a regular service to help combat the impact the pandemic has had on sexual health.

The extraordinary measures the Government had to take during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the redeployment of health staff and the introduction of social and physical distancing, have had a direct impact on sexual health, particularly amongst young and vulnerable individuals.

Public Health England reported that the pandemic led to a re-prioritisation and disruption in provision of, and patient access to, health services for HIV, STIs and viral hepatitis. According to the World Health Organisation, family planning and birth control have also been severely disrupted during the pandemic.

In order to help combat this, Caridon Foundation, in partnership with GMI, ran a mobile sexual health testing and advice session. In addition to those individuals already being supported by Caridon Foundation, the organisation invited members of the general public aged 18-25 year olds in Croydon to attend. As well as health checks such as STI screening and HIV testing, and one-to-one advice, free condoms and dental kits were also made available.

Sherrelle Collman, Managing Director of Caridon Foundation, says: “Whilst there is yet to be specific data on the full impact of the pandemic on long-term sexual health, we are increasingly aware that issues are multidimensional across different age groups and genders, and in many cases highlight economic and social inequalities. We want to offer access to free checks and advice to as many people as possible and we are now looking to host more clinics in the future.”