Sex health in UK forgotten

LONDON - Sexual health clinics are suffering because money they have been allocated is being diverted elsewhere, campaigners said yesterday.

LONDON - Sexual health clinics are suffering because money they have been allocated is being diverted elsewhere, campaigners said yesterday.

Two-thirds of primary care trusts had diverted money intended for sexual healthcare to other services or for reducing debt over the past year, said a survey by HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust and other groups.

"Money should have been used to update services, modernise them and improve the way they are provided," Lisa Power of Terrence Higgins told BBC Radio.

"But many doctors are telling us that money never reached them - it was turned away before it got anywhere near sexual health services.

"In the long term that is storing up much more expensive problems for the health service," she said.

In 2004 the government allocated R4,25billion over three years to improve sexual health services in England to combat a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

But not much more than 1percent of that fund had been spent on advertising, Conservative health spokesman Tim Loughton said.

He said the government was not making public health a priority. - Reuters

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