100 first attenders at a clinic for sexually-transmitted diseases were interviewed using a semistructured schedule. 20 per cent. were regarded as probable psychiatric cases and a considerable amount of psychosocial morbidity was observed. Whilst the majority reported anxiety about their possible illness, in a quarter the anxiety and distress appeared to be of long standing, having arisen before the genital symptoms or risk of infection and being related to chronic social and psychological difficulties. There were no significant differences between those diagnosed as having or not having STD in such characteristics as psychological symptoms, mean psychiatric score, and delya in consulting. Whilst those without a sexually-transmitted infection were less likely to be female, and more likely to feel guilty, to have had a casual sexual partner, and not to complain of specific genital symptoms, there was no evidence to support the concept of a syndrome of 'venereophobia'.
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