Sexually transmitted infections reach almost half a million
Figures released today by Health Protection Agency show that 15 to 24 year olds, particularly young women, continue to be the group most affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. More worringly of all the 15-24 year olds diagnosed with an STI last year around one in ten of these will become re-infected within a year.
In 2009 a total of 482,696 new STI diagnoses were reported to the agency from sexual health clinics across the UK and community based chlamydia testing. This is almost 12,000 more cases than were reported in 2008 when there were 470,701 new diagnoses, an increaseof over 2.5%, continuing the steady upward trend we have seen over the past decade.
Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of the HPA's STI section said:
"These latest figures show that poor sexual health is a serious problem among the UK's young adults and men who have sex with men.
"These figures also highlight the vulnerability of young women. Many studies have shown that young adults are more likely to have unsafe sex and often they lack the skills and confidence to negotiate safer sex.
"Re-infection is also a worrying issue - the numbers we're seeing in teenagers are of particular concern as this suggests teenagers are repeatedly putting their own, as well as others, long term health at risk from STIs."
A spokesman for Wandsworth PCT told PutneySW15.com:
" There is a higher proportion of young adults living in Wandsworth than in other boroughs in London or in England as a whole, with over 70% of the population below the age of 44 there are inevitability higher rates of risky behaviour around sexual relations."
" The figures released by the HPA are solely based on results received from sexual health clinics and community based chlamydia testing. Wandsworth’s STI figures may appear to be higher as we currently offer GUM (Genitourinary Medicine) services and testing in two separate sites in the borough, whereas other boroughs typically only have one. We also have over 70,000 patients who are registered with Wandsworth GPs and access healthcare services, but live outside the borough."
August 25, 2010