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Thursday, 30 June 2005 12:37
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Concern as sexual infections rise
The Health Protection Agency has revealed that diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections are still rising in the UK, with a 2 per cent increase between 2003 and last year.

Experts said the continuing rise was extremely disturbing as statistics showed an 8 per cent increase in diagnosed chlamydia cases and a 37 per cent increase in syphilis.

Jan Barlow, chief executive of the Brook sexual health charity for young people, said on the BBC Health website: "Our own research shows that there are still serious gaps in young people's knowledge of STIs.

"More than half believe that men can't get chlamydia and almost a third think you can catch an STI from a toilet seat.

"Even when young people understand the theoretical risk of STIs, they regard them as something that happens to other people."

She added that sex and relationship education along with high profile awareness campaigns would be the best way of tackling the problem.

Anne Weyman of the Family Planning Association, also called for better education and awareness but suggested that the rise in diagnoses could be in part due to better detection.

"An increase in STI rates is always a matter of concern. However, we would expect there to be an increase in people coming forward for diagnosis and treatment. It is encouraging that rates of gonorrhoea and genital herpes are showing a decline," she said.


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