Sexual Health Improvement Health Integration Team (SHIP HIT) Directors Dr Katy Turner, Dr Paddy Horner, Dr Jo Copping and Dr Emma Harding-Esch look back over the team’s achievements over the last year.
Looking back over 2019-2020, it has certainly been an eventful year. The lockdown in March means that we are having to rethink many of our plans both in work and at home. It has been incredible to see how fast our services and staff have adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 and we are grateful to all of you.
The highlight of the last year of the SHIP HIT has to be the Fast Track Cities (FTC) public consultations, with 65 attendees, and the mayoral signing celebration, where 120 guests filled the event with energy and optimism for tackling HIV and HIV stigma in Bristol. Thank you to Brigstowe, particularly Rami Ghali and Aled Jones and the rest of the FTC team, for putting on a great show. Our events might look a bit different this year, but we are delighted to be offering support to FTC in 2020-2021, particularly in supporting funding applications. Since the sign-up in November we welcomed the HIV Commission to Bristol to visit our sites and hear about the work of FTC Bristol. We have a working action plan following the needs assessment, and the latter has been published on the Bristol City Council Website.
Another high point was co-hosting the 2nd Antimicrobial Resistance and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) meeting with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s (LSHTM) STI Research Interest Group (STIRIG), sponsored by the World Health Organization, with additional support from LSHTM’s AMR Centre and Public Health England. 160 tickets were issued to attendees from 13 countries, and the livestream had 60 unique viewers. Many of the presentations are available as PowerPoint presentations and streams on the event webpage. This was another excellent event, which brought into focus the global nature of antimicrobial resistance and challenges for sexual health.
Unity Sexual Health continued to implement the new rapid STI service. The service was introduced for women in spring 2019 and adapted to ensure that the service was able to incorporate women’s contraceptive needs. ARC West presented early very favourable qualitative observations of the new service at the National BASSH and PHE conferences.