Intended for healthcare professionals


Digital media interventions for sexual health promotion—opportunities and challenges

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 03 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1099
  1. Julia Bailey, clinical senior lecturer1,
  2. Sue Mann, consultant2,
  3. Sonali Wayal, researcher1,
  4. Charles Abraham, professor3,
  5. Elizabeth Murray, professor1
  1. 1 eHealth unit, Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, London NW3 2PF, UK
  2. 2 King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Psychology Applied to Health (PatH) Group, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK
  1. Correspondence to: J V Bailey Julia.bailey{at}

A great way to reach people, particularly those at increased risk of sexual ill health

Promoting sexual health is a public health priority in the UK, but there are many challenges. For example, universal access to comprehensive sex and relationships education in schools is lacking; prevention and health promotion are less of a funding priority than diagnosis and treatment; sexual health services struggle to meet demand; and teachers, pupils, clinicians, and patients can be reluctant to discuss sexual health in school or clinic settings.

Interventions delivered through the internet or mobile phone could help with some of these challenges. Most people in the UK have access to these technologies,1 and some of those at highest risk of sexual ill health (young people, men who have sex with men, sex workers) may also be heavy users of digital technology. Digital media are particularly appropriate for promoting sexual health because access can be private and convenient and learning can be self paced and personalised.2 The reach and scalability of digital interventions is …

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