FPA: sexual-health campaign ought to focus on education

Sexual-health charities have welcomed the Government's plans to run a multi-million pound campaign to highlight the growing crisis of sexually transmitted diseases - so long as it doesn't echo the fear-based tactics HIV/Aids ads of the 1980s.

Health minister John Reid said that STDs had reached "epidemic proportions" and needed a campaign on the scale of the HIV/Aids warnings. But the Department of Health refused to confirm the £45m figure reported in the national press last weekend.

Melissa Dear, communications manager at sexual-health charity FPA, said: "We hope this Government doesn't use the same fear-based tactics of the 1980s ads. The long-term need is to educate people about the risks."

Mark Graver, public relations manager at the Terrence Higgins Trust, agreed. "We need better sexual education in schools and to continue to provide targeted campaigns aimed at the communities most at risk of HIV," he said.

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