Communications News: Terrence Higgins in email lobby push to prioritise STD work

The Terrence Higgins Trust launched an e-campaign yesterday to tackle the Government over the UK's sexual health crisis.

Figures from last year's Health Select Committee on Sexual Health inquiry showed that syphillis rates have increased by 500 per cent since 1997 and cases of gonorrhea have doubled, while HIV diagnoses are at an all-time high. This has led to six-week waiting periods to access genito-urinary clinics.

The 'Sexual Health Won't Wait' campaign requests supporters to adapt and email, or post, a ready-made letter to their local MPs urging the Government to prioritise sexual health in its three-year NHS funding plan next month.

Thomas Yocum, the trust's campaigns and parliamentary officer, said: "We want people seen within 48 hours, because fast access to such clinics is crucial to prevent the future spread of these diseases."

He added that quicker access would also help reduce the UK's high teenage-pregnancy rates.

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