Article Text

PDF

P224 The sexual health of the homeless – an outreach sexual health screening project
  1. Sarah Stockwell1,
  2. Gillian Dean1,
  3. Travis Cox2,
  4. Marc Tweed2,
  5. Jane Poole3,
  6. Georgina Hume4,
  7. Steven Nicolson4,
  8. Laura Hutchinson4
  1. 1Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, UK
  2. 2Terrance Higgins Trust, Brighton, UK
  3. 3Oasis Project, Brighton, UK
  4. 4Chlamydia Screening Project, Brighton, UK

Abstract

Background/introduction Homeless people are at increased risk of STIs, and may struggle to attend conventional services. To improve sexual health access and knowledge for this group, THT launched a weekly outreach testing project for asymptomatic clients in June 2014 at the local homeless service. HIV point of care tests (POCT) and self-taken STI screens (SHS) were offered. Hepatitis B/C POCTs were introduced more recently.

Aim(s)/objectives To assess the value of the outreach service and describe project outcomes.

Methods User demographics and testing outcomes were collected at each attendance and reviewed at 6 months.

Results From June to December 2014, 129 clients presented. 83% were white British, 92% were male. The mean age was 36 (range 19–65 years). 84% identified as heterosexual, 14% bisexual and 2% homosexual. Only 26% had previously tested for HIV. Of the asymptomatic service users, 45% had a HIV test (all negative) and 23% had a self-taken SHS. Two cases were positive; one urethral chlamydia, one rectal gonorrhoea. Eighteen referrals were made to the local SH clinic for symptomatic screens, blood-borne virus (BBV) testing, vaccination and contraception. Since introducing hepatitis POCTs 2 weeks ago, 4 clients have tested and 2 were positive for hepatitis C.

Discussion/conclusion Prior to project launch, this client group had significant anxiety regarding HIV and BBV. Having the ability to access a full SH screen in familiar surroundings was welcomed. A significant number of infections have been identified demonstrating the importance of the outreach project, and the need for strong links with mainstream services.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.