Teenage sex shock... and 'oldies' queue at the clinics too

THE number of patients being treated for serious sexual diseases in Weston has more than doubled in the last year

THE number of patients being treated for serious sexual diseases in Weston has more than doubled in the last year.Teenagers as young as 14 and adults as old as 60 are regularly being treated for sexual infections, health bosses have revealed.Over 100 people are attending Weston General Hospital's Sexual Health Clinic every week - compared to around 40 this time last year.Specialists say they are seeing teenagers with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, while the number of people aged between 40 and 60 going to the clinic for treatment is also on the increase.No Worries projects have been launched to test youngsters for sexual infections in communities. Contraception sessions have also been set up at the clinic and at community projects to combat the spread of sexual diseases.Experts say infections are common in Weston because of the volume of visitors and the number of deprived areas.Doctors say the rapid rise in the number of people treated for sexual infections is due to an increase in screening since the clinic moved from smaller premises last September.Health bosses are now worried patients from Bristol, who are desperate to get an appointment, will swamp the clinic because it does not have a waiting list.Consultant Peter Greenhouse said: "Weston has the potential for serious sexual infections to spread, like other holiday destinations.""We're seeing younger and older people come to the clinic and we're almost working towards capacity."People aged in their 40s and 50s are part of the pill generation, who had unprotected sex before Aids shocked people in the 1980s. We're seeing more of them as they're returning to the sexual marketplace with the rise in the number of divorces. More patients are coming in with chlamydia as we're screening more people and syphilis is exploding on the gay scene."Work is being carried out in the community with contraception advice and new more reliable testing procedures."The Weston Integrated Health Centre (WISH) was built with three grants of £180,000 from the Government's Department of Health. A total of 12 staff work in four clinical rooms and a counselling unit. The WISH Centre is open every weekday except Thursdays and staff hold clinics at the For All Healthy Living Centre on the Bournville estate on Wednesday afternoons.

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