New warnings that young women under the age of 25 are most at risk from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)…
Women under the age of 25 are most at risk from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to experts, as numbers of cases continue to rise in the UK.
Young women are ‘particularly vulnerable’ to picking them up, a Health Protection Agency (HPA) study has shown, prompting renewed calls for more to be done to discourage unsafe sex practices.
Almost half a million (482,696) new cases of STIs were diagnosed in the UK last year, up almost 12,000 on the previous year. 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.’
The findings suggest that many young adults are not concerned with the implications of catching an STI or are unaware of the dangers, with many engaging in risky 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,’ said Dr Hughes.
Helen Jenkins, Contraception and Sexual Health Specialist, from Marie Stopes International said: ‘It is clear that some young people are not fully aware of the prevalence of STIs and how they can protect themselves against getting one.’
The Agency also highlighted that there is concern among doctors that gonorrhoea could become resistant to common antibiotics within five years.
Professor Cathy Ison, a gonorrhoea expert at HPA’s Centre for Infections, said no new antibiotics were in the pipeline to treat gonorrhoea once cefixime ‘is no good’.
Justin McCracken, chief executive of the HPA, said: ‘These are all preventable infections and it is a cause of considerable concern that we are still seeing increases across the UK, especially in gonorrhoea where we know drug resistance is emerging.’
Do you think this is cause for concern? Or do you believe that STIs are just part and parcel of modern life? Do you think that more needs to be done to prevent the numbers rising even more or is the situation being blown out of proportion?
Let us know your thoughts below…