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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 17:14 GMT
Sex health investment announced
Shona Robison
Health Minister Shona Robison announced the investment
Public Health Minister Shona Robison has announced a 1m investment in sexual health services.

Speaking during a visit to the Borders, she said the funds would be targeted particularly towards rural areas.

She was at the Borders Clinic in Galashiels to unveil a second annual progress report on the sexual health strategy Respect and Responsibility.

Ms Robison said the report highlighted "excellent work" being done in tackling problems across the country.

"The Scottish Government has made plain its commitment to improving public health and tackling health inequalities," she said.

"Better sexual health and wellbeing for all is part of our overall health improvement agenda."

It's clear from the numbers of new infections diagnosed each year that we must do what we can to improve Scotland's sexual health
Susan Macdonald
Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland

The new centre in the Borders has been heralded as an example for how services across the country should operate.

It provides a mix of clinics offering contraceptive advice and testing services.

New drop-in services are being phased in across the region to include sites at Hawick, Eyemouth, Galashiels and Duns.

However, Ms Robison said there was still work to be done to tackle rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy.

"I believe that our strategy will ensure that we have the right approach to providing good access to effective sex and relationships education and ensuring that health services are available whether you live in a city or rural area," she said.

"The additional funding is also further proof of our commitment to ensuring that services like the Borders Clinic can continue to provide vital services."

'Limited access'

The announcement has been welcomed by Susan Macdonald, national director of the HIV and Aids charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland.

"We're delighted to see the government's continued commitment to sexual health in Scotland, particularly for rural communities who often have limited access to good local services," she said.

"It's clear from the numbers of new infections diagnosed each year that we must do what we can to improve Scotland's sexual health."

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