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Monday, 8 May, 2000, 01:30 GMT 02:30 UK
Men 'ignorant about sex disease'

Pubs to be targeted in education drive
A campaign has been launched to dispel the myths surrounding sexually transmitted infections.

The Doctor Patient Partnership has joined forces with the Men's Health Forum to encourage men to seek help from the right people if they think they have fallen prey to a sex disease.

The campaign is launched at the start of National Condom Week, and will involve leaflets and advertisements at rugby's Heineken Cup, football matches, pubs, universities and at workplaces.

A survey carried out on their behalf suggested that many men are still ignorant about the risks to their health.

GUM disease

Indeed, the MORI poll found that only half knew that a GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinic treated such conditions.

The poll also revealed that 6% thought it treated elderly people, and 13% that it tackled gum disease.

Public health minister Yvette Cooper, said: "This campaign will help to raise awareness of sexual health among men, and includes many good ideas for getting the message across.

"We have asked health authorities to introduce schemes to tackle health inequalities."

Dr Ian Banks, the chairman of the Men's Health Forum, said: "It's shocking but perhaps not surprising that there is such a lack of knowledge amongst men about sexually transmitted infections.

"The main message of the campaign emphasises the fact that men can get help and advice quite anonymously, and in actual fact when they go to get help it won't be as painful or embarrassing as they think."

Trends in sexually transmitted disease show rapid increases in diagnosed cases of genital herpes, gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

Most men surveyed said they believed that herpes and HIV were the most common sexually-transmitted diseases.

In fact, chlamydia and genital herpes are the most common.

Men are warned to look out for key symptoms of sex diseases such as pain while urinating and unusual discharges from the penis.

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See also:

09 Mar 99 | Health
Spotlight falls on sex disease
23 Sep 99 | Health
UK youth tops global sex league
18 Feb 00 | Health
Gonorrhoea rates rise by 35%
12 Apr 00 | Health
Safe sex message 'lost'
04 May 00 | Health
Teenagers 'regret' early sex
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