Destigmatizing genitourinary medicine and sexually transmitted infections in the UK

Int J STD AIDS. 2009 Nov;20(11):748-51. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.009312. Epub 2009 Oct 23.


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the clinics patients attend for STI management remain stigmatized. Although emphasizing sexual intercourse rather than sexual behaviour as an important factor in STI acquisition may help to destigmatize STIs, this will require a change in the national mindset. A different approach entails destigmatizing genitourinary (GU) medicine/sexual health thereby normalizing the conditions managed in these settings. This may be helped by emphasizing the non-STI-related aspect of GU medicine and by considering a change in terminology that removes the focus from STIs and attempts to absorb the term into the broader category of genital infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology*
  • Stereotyping*
  • United Kingdom