Views & Reviews The Bigger Picture

The messianic cockroaches of sexual health

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 16 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2362
  1. Mary E Black, director of public health, London
  1. drmaryblack{at}

Sexually transmitted diseases will always be with us. We have only one antibiotic left to hold multi-resistant gonorrhoea at bay. Every three cases of HIV infection we prevent will save the NHS a million pounds in the cost of treatment. Within living memory, lack of access to contraception and backstreet abortions devastated women’s health in the UK, and this is still the case in some parts of the world.

Sexual health providers and advocates are like messianic cockroaches: you just cannot get rid of them and they will …

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