Northern Ireland’s Sexual Health Week launches tomorrow (Tuesday 14 February) with a special hustings event in Belfast, hosted by FPA.
Sexual Health Week runs from 13–19 February and comes at a time of political uncertainty in Northern Ireland. An election campaign is already in full flow ahead of polling day on 2 March.
The focus of the week is on making politics work to improve sexual health across Northern Ireland, and the event will bring together a number of political candidates to discuss the topic of sexual health.
- Deputy leader of the Green Party, Clare Bailey, who recently launched a consultation on safe access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services
- Alliance Party health spokesperson, Paula Bradshaw, who tabled a successful Motion in the Assembly in November 2016 calling on the Health Minister to work with NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to develop ways for people in Northern Ireland to have access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) medication for HIV.
- People Before Profit politican, Gerry Carroll, who in September 2016 presented a petition with 20,000 signatures calling for an end of the use of the petition of concern mechanism to block marriage equality.
- Paula Bradley, DUP politician and former chair of the Health Committee
Speaking ahead of the event FPA’s Northern Ireland Director Mark Breslin said:
“Despite the current political uncertainty in Northern Ireland FPA will strive to ensure that the issue of sexual health is part of the political conversation.
“As part of Sexual Health Week we will be hosting a conversation will political parties on Valentine’s Day, but it is equally important that these conversations are not simply limited to this week, or in the lead up to elections, but before and after as well.
“The issue of sexual health is one that not only spans all parties but all sections of society and it is imperative that it is inclusive and accessible to everyone.”