An unprecedented alliance of medical professionals and voluntary organisations today warned of a public health emergency threatened by rapidly rising levels of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

The sexual health and HIV agencies joined forces to respond to the parliamentary Health Select Committee’s report on the impact of the government’s National Sexual Health and HIV Strategy for England. The Committee’s report, published today, highlights serious concerns about the way that the Strategy is currently being implemented and resourced.

Dr Angela Robinson, President of the Medical Society for the Study of Venereal Diseases and a spokesperson for the alliance said: “Rates of sexually transmitted infections are going through the roof, and clinics are struggling to cope with demand. Public understanding of ways to prevent infections is actually decreasing – especially amongst younger people. Abortion and contraception services are also in need of greater support.”

“The National Strategy is an important part of our response to sexual ill health in England, but unless it is supported by education and properly prioritised by the government and by local primary care trusts, it will fail to have an impact on these rapidly rising epidemics. It is no exaggeration to say that we are facing a public health emergency without prompt and thorough action.”

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