Couple kissing in the bedroom Photo: franckreporter via iStock

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) have said sexual health in the UK needs a 'shake-up' to address the most pressing health problems at the moment.

It said that community pharmacists need to have a much bigger role in helping deal with sexual health problems, as well as matters relating to drug abuse and HIV.

Scotland's RPS responded to a review by Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee’s Preventative Agenda into substance misuse, sexual health, blood borne viruses and HIV.

RPS Scotland put forward a number of recommendations to better make use out of pharmacists, including testing for serious diseases like hepatitis C and HIV.

Community pharmacy clinics, which use pharmacist prescribers and work alongside local sexual health clinics, to provide a range of contraceptive services, it suggested. These would include follow-up contraception as well as emergency hormonal contraception.

The RPS advised that this model should be rolled out across Scotland to take advantage of the accessibility at weekends and out of hours that community pharmacies can offer.

Allowing people to more easily access support, guidance and advice for their sexual health problems could help to increase the number of people enjoying safe sex, while also reducing the figures for some of the UK's most prevalent STDs.

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