DECEMBER 7, 2004

Stirling Moss - ever the trendsetter

Sir Stirling Moss yesterday urged men to shake off taboos and seek medical advice for erection difficulties. As the brand ambassador in a nationwide awareness campaign 'SortED in 10' launched on behalf of the Levitra medical treatment made by GlaxoSmithKline, the motorsport legend said: "I first had problems getting it up after my accident at Goodwood in 1962. Not only was the situation hugely frustrating but as a man who has always enjoyed a very active sex life, I also found it extremely embarrassing. It was probably due to this embarrassment that I didn't discuss the problem with my doctor. At that time a very nice nurse called Christine helped me to sort the problem naturally. After that everything was fine until I had an operation for prostate cancer in January 2001. I had to have my prostate removed and the doctor explained that I might have problems getting an erection after the surgery, and unfortunately that was the case. I discussed the problem with my doctor at the follow-up appointment and he talked me through the treatment options.

"My wife, Susie, and I have a strong relationship and sex is an important part of that, so sorting out my problem was not only important for me but it was also crucial for my wife and our relationship. It was also a very straightforward process: I had a problem, I spoke to a doctor for advice and he suggested treatment options to resolve it. The way I look at it is if you had a headache you would take an aspirin, so if you can't get an erection why not take a treatment?"

Moss said he did not feel brave making his condition public.

"I just think it is nice to be able to do something to help people who might not otherwise seek medical advice," he said. He added that he had tried Viagra and Cialis, without success, but found that GlaxoSmithKline's Levitra treatment suited him perfectly. "It enables us to be as spontaneous as before the surgery as it works quickly and is very reliable."

The SortED in 10 campaign will receive wide publicity in the UK and is designed to encourage sufferers to seek medical advice.

"I like driving racing cars but I also enjoy sex," Moss said. "My message is simple: If you have similar problems, don't be embarrassed. Go and see your doctor. All it takes is 10 minutes."