asked Her Majesty's Government:
In the light of the review of the National Health Service by Lord Darzi of Denham and their commitment to reducing the burden of sexually transmitted infections on society and the National Health Service, what steps will they take to reduce the number of cases of genital warts, given the recent decision by the Department of Health to exclude their prevention from the forthcoming human papillomavirus immunisation programme.
The Government are committed to tackling sexually transmitted infections, including genital warts. This commitment was underlined in the next steps review, which identified sexual health as being one of six priority areas for primary care trusts to commission comprehensive well-being and prevention services to meet the needs of their local population.
Considerable progress has been made on the target to offer appointments within 48 hours at genito-urinary medicine services. The figures for March 2008 show that 98.9 per cent. of first attendees were offered an appointment within 48 hours, compared to only 45 per cent in 2005. Early access to services is very important to ensure rapid treatment which lowers the risk of onward transmission of infections.
In November 2006, the department launched the Condom Essential Wear campaign to tackle sexually transmitted infections and the behaviours that contribute to their spread. The campaign is picking up excellent recognition rates among the target audience.