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IReSH and COVID-19

The arrival of COVID-19 and the dramatic public health measures in Scotland that have been taken – and will need to continue for the foreseeable future – has meant that as a network, we have had to make some tough decisions. In light of the ongoing public health emergency, we announced a few weeks ago that we would postpone our national Conference Sex, Drugs & Scotland’s Health, which was originally scheduled to be held in June in Dundee. We’ve pushed the conference to 2 – 4 June 2021 and will provide more details later in the year. We were very disappointed to not move forward with a great programme of events and are planning to provide elements of the conference through some digital presentations and/or events and blogs – watch this space for more details!

We are also focusing on increasing our digital presence through our recently revamped website, which will feature a space for blogs and videos to share research, reflections and information. We’ve got some new blogs coming up in the next little while, so keep a look-out for those. Also, feel free to get in touch with us if you have ideas for materials you would like to share.

Finally, as many of us re-orient – or indeed heighten – our efforts to care for ourselves and others and to continue to support the sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing – and rights – of our communities, we have pulled together some fantastic resources that our partners and friends have put together in the immediate response to COVID-19 and its implications for sexual and reproductive health. We hope you find these resources useful and that you can continue to care for yourself – and others – in these uncertain times.

• PrEPster hosted a Facebook Live event on Covid-19, HIV and LGBT health: what do we need to know? in mid-march, which is still able to be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/prepster.info/videos/246665113035089/

• PrEPster have also created a very useful page that is regularly being updated with information about COVID-19 & all things sexual health and HIV here: https://prepster.info/covid/

• HIV Scotland have offered information and support for people living with HIV and PrEP users here: https://www.hiv.scot/coronavirus

• Waverley Care have provided information about COVID-19 & sexual health here: https://www.waverleycare.org/news/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-advice

• FSRH and coalition partners have put together a special COVID-19 issue of their Sexual Health, Reproductive Health & HIV Policy eBulletin here https://mailchi.mp/fsrh/sexual-health-reproductive-health-hiv-policy-ebulletin-coronavirus-special-issue?e=45b6f30b2d

• Umbrella Lane have provided information and guidance on COVID-19 for people who sell sex – https://www.umbrellalane.org/#/covid19/

• Scottish Drugs Forum have published guidance on COVID-19 to support people who inject drugs here: http://www.sdf.org.uk/covid-19-guidance/

• Scottish Trans Alliance have provided some information on ongoing support for people accessing trans health care services here: https://www.scottishtrans.org/important-information-about-continuing-your-hormones-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/

• Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Matter hosted a webinar on the implications of COVID-19 for SRHR and can be watched here: http://www.srhm.org/news/covid-19-what-implications-for-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights/

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