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Improving sexual health

oral-contraceptive-pill-woman-hands-15

11–17 September 2017 marks the FPA's Sexual Health Week, which aims to inform the public on sexual health issues, influence service providers and support health professionals. Stay up to date with the latest in sexually transmitted infections and contraception with The Pharmaceutical Journal's special report.

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Public Health England survey finds commissioning of sexual health and HIV services is ‘fragmented’

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Provision of sexual health and HIV services has become ‘fragmented’ in England since responsibility for commissioning was split across local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS England, a survey by Public Health England has found.

ash soni rps 2017

Community pharmacy-led sexual health services should be commissioned nationally, conference hears

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Community pharmacies are ideally placed to be the first port of call for women requiring comprehensive and convenient contraceptive and sexual health services, concluded a discussion at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society 2017 annual conference in Birmingham, UK.

Drug-resistant N Gonorrhoeae

New antibiotic shown to be effective against gonorrhoea superbug

A new class of antibiotic has been found to be effective against Neisseria gonorrhoeae according to researchers from Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pill

NHS England announces start of three-year PrEP trial

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NHS England has announced the start of the trial to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to people at high risk of HIV infection in England, in order to gather clinical evidence on optimal targeting, uptake and implementation of PrEP on a large scale.

emergency contraceptive pills

Online pharmacy sells emergency contraception for £4.99

Emergency contraception can be bought online in the UK for as little as £4.99.

Micrograph of Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Lancet study reveals the first vaccine to show protection against gonorrhoea

By Kathy Oxtoby

Exposure to the meningococcal group B vaccine is associated with a reduced likelihood of contracting gonorrhoea, according to the findings of a large study in The Lancet.

Close up of blister pack of contraceptive pill with dates

Women cannot control fertility through contraception alone, says British Pregnancy Advisory Service

More than half of women who had an abortion in 2016 were using at least one form of contraception when they presented, according to data gathered by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

colourful condoms

Syphilis infections reach 67-year high

Cases of syphilis in England have reached the highest level since 1949, figures on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for 2016 show.

Young girl receives HPV vaccine

Two doses of HPV vaccine enough to protect against genital wartsSubscription

US study shows that three doses of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine does not provide any more protection than two against genital warts.

Levonelle emergency contraception pill (pictured) is one of the pills thought to be affected by weight

Pharmacists urged to explain potential effect of body weight on emergency contraception

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has urged pharmacists and doctors to explain to patients that the emergency contraceptive pill can be ineffective in women weighing 11 stone or more, or with a body-mass index of 26 or above.

Open hand holding emergency hormonal contraception (EHC)

Why we should increase access of EHC to women, rather than restrict itSubscription

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Barriers, such as a price premium, should be removed to allow easier access to emergency hormonal contraception.

Viagra pill

Reclassifying erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil as a P medicine not such a huge leapSubscription

Allowing pharmacists to sell sildenafil would offer men a convenient, safe, and perhaps less intimidating, channel for seeking professional advice and treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Image of a movable barrier representing access denied

Reclassifying emergency hormonal contraception levonorgestrel from a pharmacy to general sale medicine is not the answerSubscription

Instead of making levonorgestrel available to purchase in any retail outlet without medical advice, it would be better to improve emergency hormonal contraception consultations, lower the price of the medicine and make it more easily accessible via national patient group directions.

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Gonorrhoea and antibiotics — past, present and futureSubscription

By John Betts

The problem of dwindling treatment options for gonorrhoea is complicated because there are very few new antibiotics in development. Stewardship of our remaining antibiotic resources is now more urgent than ever.

Copper intrauterine device

RPS issues updated guidance on emergency contraceptionSubscription

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The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has updated its own guidance on emergency contraception, in response to new Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare guidelines on prescribing of emergency contraception.

Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a lymphocyte with HIV cluster

Pre-exposure prophylaxis should be a key component of a comprehensive HIV prevention package fully funded on the NHSSubscription

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Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the medication taken by HIV-negative individuals to reduce their risk of contracting HIV infection. The large evidence base for the use of PrEP has been reviewed and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), England’s health ...

Amniocentesis

Preconception care: genetic and pre-existing conditionsSubscription

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Pharmacists and healthcare professionals can provide appropriate and comprehensive preconception care by identifying couples who are at risk of having a baby with a genetic or chromosomal malformation and can empower the couple by giving them enough knowledge to make informed decisions.

Woman holds a positive pregnancy test

Preconception care: dietary and lifestyle adviceSubscription

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Engagement by women with a pharmacist or healthcare professional for preconception advice and care ranges from 18% to 45%. Pharmacists are uniquely placed to provide this advice when individuals present for new registration checks, well-woman consultations, contraceptive advice and reviews, as well as medicine use reviews.

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