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Despite sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in the UK being free for everyone, many disparities persist. Racially minoritised communities (RMCs) have experienced inequalities within SRH for several decades; and while there are social and cultural differences within groups under this umbrella, being racially minoritised significantly impacts how groups experience SRH. This is demonstrated by disparities in STI prevalence, HIV outcomes, contraception provision, maternal care and subfertility outcomes.
Higher rates of bacterial STIs in RMCs have been recognised since the 1950s and persist to the present day.1 2 Year on year, UK data consistently demonstrate a disproportionate burden of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis among black people.1 Recently, the largest increase in the proportion of bacterial STIs was seen in the Asian community,1 yet only 3.7% of this group were noted to attend SRH services, a clear demonstration of barriers to engagement. RMCs are disproportionately affected by HIV in the UK, with over three-quarters of women attending HIV clinics being racially minoritised. While new HIV diagnoses are declining, this is slower among RMCs suggesting insufficient knowledge of, or …
Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti
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Contributors All authors contributed to the planning and writing of the editorial. The final review and edits were conducted by D-WH.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests D-WH has previously received funding from Gilead Sciences for educational activities. RD has previously received funding from Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare for consultancy and educational activities. AS is co-director of Decolonising Contraception. TN has nothing to declare. UN has nothing to declare. SB-P has nothing to declare. JH has previously received funding from Gilead for consultancy activities. FL has nothing to declare. TR has received funding for project work from Gilead Sciences.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.