Venereal disease.

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About this work


An educational programme outlining the importance of sexual health education. A group of 14-15 year old students browse displays about venereal diseases in Sheffield. The social history of sexually transmitted diseases is outlined via historical illustrations. A reason why there is an increase in sexual diseases is put down to change of habits such as casual sex over images of the contraceptive pill being manufactured. Each venereal disease is characterised; a venerologist provides a narration. Over each intertitle announcing the disease; ominous drums are sounded. Some examples of microscopy are shown. He describes the differences in disease presentation of women versus men (with women often not presenting symptoms until too late). There is a dramatisation of a young man, Bob, visiting a sexual health clinic; after his diagnosis, a social worker gets in touch with the contact tracer and they try and find 'Veronica' who is assumed to have passed the sexually contacted disease to the man after having casual sex with Bob after a party. Once contacted, she is advised to get tested. Finally, returning to the school group at the start, they ask questions about VD. Frank Rowntree (who is not credited in the film) answers the questions; at the time he was the Health Education Officer for Sheffield.



Physical description

1 videocassette (19:31 min.) (DIGIBETA) : sound, colour

Related material

Papers relating to Rowntree's career are held by Wellcome Collection, reference PP/ROW

Copyright note

BBC Television.

Language note

In English.

Creator/production credits

Photography; Michael Shepherd, Sound; Graham Hare, Rod Guest; Film Editor; Peter Dunbar, Production; Gordon Croton.
Veronica; Wendy Wax, Bob; Al Lampert.


For a period in the 1970s, Francis St. D. Rowntree 1928-1996, known as Frank Rowntree, was the Health Education Officer for Sheffield. He was invited into the BBC Radio Sheffield studios for a regular short weekly health spot, 'Walk Right In'. In 1972 on these radio programmes, he talks specifically about the health educational display shown in the film Frank Rowntree compilation recordings. Part 2, Track 9 and also Frank Rowntree compilation recordings. Part 6, Track (although the latter relates to the dentistry exhibits). In his broadcasts in 1973 there are two stories about venereal disease - the importance of being tested and the dangers of casual sex, especially on holiday.



Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores
    By appointmentManual request


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