The Northern Health and Social Care Trust this week launched the first ever sexual health clinic based on Ulster University’s Coleraine campus.
In partnership with the university, and funded by the Public Health Agency, the clinic will provide free services including contraception, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatments and family planning advice.
With rates of STIs in Northern Ireland on the increase and high unplanned pregnancy rates, the clinic is being provided to help improve young people’s knowledge.
Feedback has indicated that many students do not access sexual health services through the more traditional routes, so it has been established to provide easily accessible care and advice.
Led by a specialist doctor and senior sexual health nurse, clinics will run on both Coleraine and Jordanstown campuses in confidential facilities.
Jean McMinn, head of Student Support at the university, commented: “Many young people who are considering having sex for the first time, or who are concerned about STIs, feel unable to talk about these issues with friends or family so it is crucial that they know they can seek advice from qualified professionals.
“These issues are often ignored due to their sensitive nature but the clinic provides a safe and confidential place for students to discuss them.”
Students will also be encouraged to avail of assistance offered by Student Support.
The Coleraine clinic will be open in Block J every Monday from 9.30am to 3.00pm. Anyone with queries can contact it on 028 9448 1713.