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Sexual health charity uses dating apps to support Hackney's LGBTQ community

PUBLISHED: 13:38 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:47 12 September 2016

The charity will promote safer sex through mobile dating apps. (Picture: PA).

The charity will promote safer sex through mobile dating apps. (Picture: PA).

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A sexual health charity will turn to mobile dating apps to promote safer sex as it addresses Hackney's high rates of STIs and HIV.

The Terrence Higgins Trust has launched the service to provide support the borough’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

It is part of the town hall’s Healthier Hackney initiative and will blend traditional face-to-face outreach with the app approach.

STI diagnosis rates in Hackney in 2015 were three times higher than the England average, with new gonorrhoea diagnoses six times higher.

Dr Penny Bevan, Hackney Council’s director of public health, said: “The Healthier Hackney Fund aims to support community and voluntary groups and organisations to develop innovative and exciting approaches to address some of our most complex health problems.”

The service aims to tackle the transmission rates by targeting the LGBTQ community, which is one of the borough’s most at-risk groups

Dominic Reilly, outreach Worker at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “This service will help improve access to essential supplies, services and advice for a group that has long had to endure lower rates of sexual health.

“In addition, our innovative digital approach provides us with significant reach across the borough, and has been developed in response to the increasing importance of virtual spaces for socialising, sex, and romance in the LGBTQ community.”

For more information on the service, visit tht.org.uk or call the trust on 020 7812 1600.

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