SHIFT – Sexual Health in the over 45s

In the over 45s, the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases (STIs) is greatest in those entering new sexual relationships after a period of monogamy. For women, this is often post-menopause when pregnancy is no longer an issue but little thought is given to STIs.

We are working with partners on a project to encourage people aged 45 and over to pay more attention to their sexual health and wellbeing, and encourage a greater uptake of the services available. The aim is to encourage this age group to talk about sex and to try and halt the rise in sexually transmitted infections.

Sexual Health in the Over 45s (SHIFT) will target groups at greater risk of being unaware of their sexual health and the services available, including homeless people, sex workers, migrants and people whose first language isn’t English.

It will also include training programmes for sexual health and other health professionals to improve awareness and confidence in addressing the subject with these groups.

SHIFT is funded by the EU’s Interreg 2Seas programme, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which involves 11 organisations from the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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Final Evaluation Report and developed model.

We are pleased to share with you the final evaluation and report for the SHIFT (Sexual Health in the Over 45s) research project.

Funded by the EU Interreg2Seas programme for social innovation, this four-year project involved eleven English, Belgian, Dutch and French partners from academic, health and social care sectors. The project’s objective was to identify and address inequalities related to the sexual health of those aged 45 and above, and to co-design a model to empower those aged 45 and over to improve their overall sexual health, improve access to services, and remove the stigmas and preconceptions associated with sex and older age.

The project has resulted in accreditable free training for all, including Health and Social Care workers, and an over 45s sexual health SHIFT website addressing many of the survey findings. The website includes educational content and short films covering for example, relationships, sex and ageing (including male and female age-related physical changes), STIs, etc.

Over the course of the project, we received contributions and input from over two-hundred health and wider workforce partners, trainers, and observers. In total the project gathered and collated survey data from over twenty-three thousand 2seas area residents aged over 45.

On behalf of the SHIFT project team in East Sussex, we would like to thank everyone from across East Sussex who contributed and helped to shape and inform the project.

Thank you.

Download and read the SHIFT Evaluation Report 2023 

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