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STDs Reaching 'Epidemic' Levels in Britain

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LONDON, Nov 21, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Sexually transmitted disease levels are reaching "epidemic proportions" in Britain among young women, says British Health Secretary John Reid.

"We need to alert people to this danger -- to bring it out of the closet, put it in front of everybody and not be embarrassed about it," Reid told the Sunday Telegraph in an interview.

"We need to run a campaign of information which tells people of the terrible consequences of irresponsible sexual behavior and of transmitted sexual diseases -- it should be of the measure of the HIV-AIDS campaign."

Reid said Chlamydia, which can rob women of their fertility, is present in one of 10 young, sexually active women. He said during the past six years there has been a 139 percent rise in the disease rates.

Powerful anti-AIDS advertisements introduced by the Margaret Thatcher government during the 1980s featured tombstones with the slogan: "Don't die of ignorance." Those ads were credited with helping to stop the spread of the virus.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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