Sexual health campaign must be backed with services

Sexual health experts have called for the government to spend more of the £50 million they originally allocated to sexual health services.

Health minister Caroline Flint
Health minister Caroline Flint

The DoH has spent £4 million on a new sexual health campaign, which uses television, online, print and radio advertisements to encourage condom use among 18-24 year olds.

Chief executive of the sexual health charity Brook, Simon Blake,  welcomed the campaign but said: ‘Backing the campaign up with comprehensive sex and relationships education in schools, and with investment in sexual health services for young people would ensure it was even more effective.

‘We are also deeply concerned that the current financial pressures on the NHS mean that much of the money earmarked for investment in sexual health is not reaching services.’

Health minister Caroline Flint defended the smaller budget, saying that such campaigns were not always about money, although she added that the new campaign was twice as expensive as the previous ‘sex lottery’ campaign. The DoH was more concerned about putting an effective message across to the public, she said.

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