Sexually transmitted infections have risen amongst under-16s

Dawn Primarolo’s written answer to Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb revealed that the number of sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in those under the age of 16 rose from 2,474 cases in 2003 to 3,913 cases in 2007. Leading sexual health agency Marie Stopes International makes the following statement:

The sharp increase in the rate of sexually transmitted infections among young people is of great concern.

“The figures are a frightening reminder that children are able to access often sensationalist and inaccurate sexual information from the television, the internet, music and even computer games. They are also a reflection of the piecemeal and inadequate sex and relationship education currently provided across the UK.

“Moving forward, parents, educators and health providers need to work together to equip young people with the relationship skills and confidence to delay their sexual start age. The figures illustrate that it is crucial to teach children about relationships and the importance of practicing safe sex even before they become sexually active.

“In addition, the provision of sexual health information, resources and services specifically tailored for young people need to be facilitated. Therefore, when young adults do make the decision to become sexually active, they will be able to protect themselves against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

“Although young people may have heard of sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia, the latest figures suggest that they are either uninformed about how to protect themselves or complacent about the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. If we are to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections, it is crucial to emphasise to young people the importance of using a barrier method in sexual relationships.

“Marie Stopes International is committed to preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections and offers contraceptive consultations and sexually transmitted infection testing with an expert sexual health practitioner. To book an appointment please call our 24-hour advice and information line on 0845 300 8090.”

All quotes attributable to Tony Kerridge, Marie Stopes International spokesperson.

To view Dawn Primarolo’s written answer please visit

Categories: United Kingdom; Europe; Advocacy & campaigning


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