Dangerous liaisons: why syphilis and gonorrhoea have returned to haunt Britain Clinic appointments fill up in minutes and babies are once again being born with syphilis – what is behind Britain’s sexual health crisis?
Tucked down a backstreet, Patrick French’s workplace is identified only by a generic blue NHS sign. Nobody would know why the men and women entering the building off Tottenham Court Road in central London were here. Even inside, it’s not obvious. With its blond wood floors and potted plants, all that distinguishes the Mortimer Market sexual health clinic from a dentist’s waiting room is the presence of enormous posters advertising Liquid Silk lubricant.
Such invisibility helps protect patients’ privacy in this most intimate field of medicine. But it also means a crisis can fly beneath the radar. When patients are waiting on A&E trolleys, we all hear about it. When they’re queueing out of the door to be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), we don’t. “People say the NHS has been protected against cuts – well there’s one bit that hasn’t,” says French, a genitourinary medicine (GUM) consultant at central and north west London trust. Continue reading... The Guardian