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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Getachew

New Sexual Health Vending Machines At Brighton University

In the past 5 years, researchers have found that, outside of London, Brighton and Hove have the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections. With a booming student population of just over 45,000 students, the discussion of sexual health and safety is a top priority. Recently, the University of Brighton has taken the first step of a greater initiative to increase knowledge of why it’s important to look after your sexual health and make getting help a lot more accessible for students. On the Mouslecoomb campus, they’ve installed new sexual health and a digital vending machine in the Mezzanine Food Hub! The machines provide free STI testing kits for people without symptoms who want to check their sexual health

or HIV status. The machines contain self-sampling swabs and blood sampling equipment which will be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV when returned through the post to the Sexual Health Clinic. The machines also have oral HIV self-tests which are extremely accurate (99.7%) and give a result in just 15 minutes! This initiative is funded by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School so I wanted to say about this new project and what kickstarted it. Jaime Vera,Professor of HIV Medicine , Research Lead Department of Global Health and Infection a couple of questions about this new machine.“STI rates are high in B and Hove partly because we do offer a lot of testing, It is all about access, with COVID access to HIV and STI testing was restricted and we use vending machines and online testing to improve access to all. Also, many students, particularly international students, don't know they can get access to STI testing for free. The intervention is very inclusive.”

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