Lockdown restrictions in Wales are providing a ''once in a lifetime'' opportunity to dramatically lower sexually transmitted infections and HIV, according to a leading consultant.

Dr Darren Cousins, a Consultant in Sexual Health & HIV at the Royal Infirmary in Cardiff, is used to seeing over 40,000 patients every year.

He describes lockdown as an ''ideal time'' to break the transmission cycle of STIs and HIV in Wales.

Dr Cousins is used to seeing over 40,000 patients every year Credit: ITV Wales

''What we've seen is a dramatic change in sexual behaviour.'' Dr Cousins said.

''People are catching less STIs but also people are having less HIV transmission.''

''When someone is first infected with HIV they are in a super infectious period where they are highly infectious if they then pass that on sexually to someone else.

''Because of the change in behaviour people are getting through that period in lockdown and not having other contacts.''

Home testing kits for STI's and HIV can now be ordered online Credit: ITV Wales

Lockdown has meant the team have had to adapt quickly to ensure they can continue to treat patients.

Now people in Wales will be able to order home testing kits online that test for STIs and HIV.

Consultations are also now available via video call.

''We've used this opportunity to reimagine what we do.'' Dr Cousins said.

''We can't see 40,000 face to face anymore and we have the technology to see people through video consultations.

''We find that people really like the fact they can have consultations from their own home.''

Consultations can now be carried out online Credit: ITV Wales

Dr Cousins says lockdown has provided the opportunity to make positive changes to how sexual health services can be delivered in Wales.

''It's given us the ability to do things that we've wanted to do for some time.

''Going back to where we were before coronavirus is not the way we can go so we're looking forward to the future.''

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