POST-TERMINATION support was in high demand last year, according to the Sexual Health Centre’s annual report for 2019.
The Centre saw a one and a half fold increase in counselling sessions for people who had had a termination, from 157 counselling sessions in 2018 to 236 in 2019.
Ciarán Lynch, Chairperson of the Sexual Health Centre, highlighted the importance of widespread accessibility to sexual and reproductive health services.
"In 2019, we saw a rise in the number of people engaging with services for sexual health, post-termination, crisis pregnancy, HIV, sexuality and relationship advice.
"This has been a clear indicator of the community's need for high quality, professional and inclusive services," he said.
A number of new initiatives were introduced by the Centre in 2019, including a one-to-one mentoring service for people who are living with HIV.
120 support sessions were provided to people living with HIV in 2019.
The Centre also conducted over 700 free rapid HIV tests.
Meanwhile, 67 support sessions were delivered to members of the LGBTQIA+ community in 2019.
Information requests regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections increased to over 4,000 enquiries.
"A rise in STI-related queries is an indicator of the wider community’s evolving attitude to sexual health," noted the Centre’s Executive Director, Dr Martin Davoren.
"This is a very welcome change as it shows that people are increasingly viewing their sexual health as an integral part of their overall health and life," he continued.
Dr Davoren highlighted that partnership is an ongoing priority for the Sexual Health Centre, with new collaborations established throughout the year to support the sexual health needs of the people of Cork.
"An important development was the establishment of Ireland’s first sexual health network which was accompanied by its own web portal to provide a range of information on sexual health, healthy relationships and wellbeing in Cork city.
"The Centre was delighted to collaborate on this project with a number of agencies in Cork," he said.
"Notably, Cork has now signed up to the global HIV fast-track cities initiative.
"The Sexual Health Centre was delighted to act as co-signatory for Cork and looks forward to supporting its implementation.
"The Centre was also very proud to launch its five-year plan in 2019, prioritising the delivery of sexual health services for the community," Dr Davoren continued.