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There are few medical specialties as closely allied to public health as genitourinary medicine (GUM). From their earliest beginnings, when clinics were established to tackle the burden of sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the population,1 GUM physicians have been at the forefront of improving health at the population level.
While at the point of care STI are principally treated at an individual level, public health issues of transmission risk and contact tracing are routinely considered during consultations. Conversely, the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases directly affects decisions on screening, treatment, postexposure prophylaxis, education and health promotion interventions for individual patients. This has created a unique interdependence between GUM and public health.
Following the Health and Social Care Bill in 2012,2 we are entering a new era of sexual health provision in the National Health Service (NHS) in England, with the commissioning of genitourinary and contraceptive services sitting within public health at local authority level, while the Health Protection Agency has …
Handling editor Jackie Cassell
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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