SHIFT – Sexual Health In the over ForTy-fives is a project which aims to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of people over 45.

KCHFT is working with partners across Europe to deliver the programme, which will make sexual health services for the over 45s better by:

Increasing awareness and access to sexual health services

Increasing testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections

Improving quality of life

Supporting professionals with training

In 2006, The World Health Organisation (WHO) defined sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality – it is not just the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity.”

SHIFT is led by the Health & Europe Centre and brings together partners with expertise in public health, sexual health, community health from the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Belgium.

Our partnership will allow SHIFT to work with local populations in the 2Seas region, helping improve their sexual health and wellbeing, while working to develop research work that can be used elsewhere to help others.

From research through surveys and focus groups, SHIFT has identified four main topics that will be prioritised by the project:

Knowledge: How can SHIFT improve the limited knowledge around sexual health both in the general population aged 45 and over, and in health care professionals who have limited experience in this area?

Awareness: How can SHIFT improve how we share and communicate information around sexual health and wellbeing with people aged 45 and over?

Access: How can SHIFT improve access to information and services to support good sexual health and wellbeing for individuals?

Stigma: How can SHIFT help to reduce stigma around talking about sexual health and wellbeing, and increase the acceptance of sexual health being an important part of a person’s overall health and wellbeing?

SHIFT partners:

SHIFT is part of a €4 million project by Interreg VA 2Seas programme which involved partners from the UK, the Netherlands, France and Belgium and receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund.