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Commencement of Drafting of New National Sexual Health Strategy

The Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton has welcomed commencement of drafting of the new National Sexual Health Strategy (NSHS).

While work with relevant stakeholders is already underway, the Minister met with members of the core drafting group at their first formal meeting.

Minister Naughton said, “the first National Sexual Health Strategy 2015 – 2020 took a life course approach, acknowledging the importance of healthy attitudes to sexuality in young people and of building on that foundation during adulthood and into older age. We are now developing this further, including in the new strategy many of the positive developments of recent years, such as free contraception, free pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV and free home STI testing, and linking in with other key policy areas such as LGBTI+, women’s and men’s health.”

The new strategy will continue to improve supports for sexual health and wellbeing, while reducing negative sexual health outcomes and supporting healthy attitudes to sexuality throughout the life-course. Implementation of the strategy is led by the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme (SHCPP).

Refreshing the NSHS is of key importance given the introduction of many new services since 2015, and the rise in Ireland’s population, both in terms of numbers and diversity. Notwithstanding the very significant pace of development and innovation in recent years, additional capacity is needed.

Minister Naughton continued, “my aim is to seek government approval for the publication of the new strategy before the end of 2023. The new strategy will continue the core work of its predecessor, but critically, it will add innovative new services, supports and policy areas. Diverse and up-to-date sexual health resources, education, information, contraception, STI prevention and treatment are key resources for all of us and will contribute to positive wellbeing. I wish the drafting group well as they commence their work and I am committed to supporting them and ensuring that these resources are appropriately funded and developed further.”


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