Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: sexual health medicine

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 02 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:e8643
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

The “clap clinic” has moved from a Portakabin behind the hospital bins to shiny new buildings. Today sexual health is jeans wearing, eyebrow pierced, cool medicine. This is to be celebrated, but care is still regrettably concentrated in secondary care and testing is restricted. But what is concerning about sexual health is its tyranny of terror messages: these are weapons of mass destruction of relationships.

Consider HIV. In the 1980s we lived in constant fear of being crushed to death by colossal falling tombstones. HIV testing was allowed only after counselling and in distant …

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