The network will consist of sexual health counsellors state-wide.

The Sexual Health Counsellors Association of NSW (SCAN), a new state-wide association of sexual health counsellors, launched on Friday.

The network hopes to improve access to sexual health counselling in public health clinics for LGBTI community members at risk of HIV and other STIs.

The professionals work across various disciplines, including social work, counselling and clinical psychology, ensuring that sexual health counselling remains a specialised service.

It has been found that many people in the LGBTI community find it hard to access services where they feel comfortable discussing their sexual health needs in a relaxed way without judgment or stigma.

SCAN was established to advocate for the psychological and social needs of LGBTI individuals, particularly about sexual health.

Network Chair Brendan Crozier detailed the make-up of the new network, saying, “SCAN is made up of counsellors throughout NSW, from Wollongong to Coffs Harbour.”

“Many rural areas lack specialist public counselling services, and the association will advocate with NSW Health to address these gaps.”

SCAN hopes to collaborate on projects that will improve the quality of LGBTI people’s sex lives in the future.