The sexual health needs of people with learning disabilities.

The sexual health of people with learning disabilities raises important management and practice issues for health services, and should be examined in the context of the current policy emphasis on advocacy, person-centred services and social inclusion (Department of Health, 2001). People with learning disabilities may have limited access to mainstream health services, and sexual health and genitourinary medicine (GUM) services are no exception (DoH, 2001; 1998). They are often excluded from society, either because they are ‘segregated’ within specialist support services in the community or because they live in isolation with carers, and health and social care models do not always join up locally to meet their needs.