15 July 2008
Commenting on the STI data released today by the Health Protection Agency Julie Bentley, Chief Executive, fpa said:
“Driving home the safer sex message is as relevant as ever. Education, information, accessible services and widespread STI testing are imperative in improving the sexual health of the population and especially the 16–24 year old age group.
“We need to continue offering STI testing in many different places and cast a wide net to capture as many different people as possible. STIs don’t always show symptoms so the more people coming forward for screening the better. This will help prevent those people who are unknowingly transmitting an STI to a partner.
“As the numbers of genital warts in young women are increasing, we reiterate our disappointment that the vaccine, which would have protected young women against genital warts as well as cervical cancer, was not chosen in the national cervical cancer vaccination programme.
“Condoms need to become the normal rule of sex not the exception. Advertising that condoms are free from contraceptive clinics is a good tactic for young people as spending money on condoms can be a disincentive to using them.
“Providing information about STIs, how they're transmitted and what constitutes risky sexual behaviour should be offered to all young people as part of a statutory sex and relationships education (SRE) curriculum. Comprehensive SRE taught to each successive generation instils knowledge as people become sexually active and gives them confidence to talk to their children about good sexual health if they become parents later on.”
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For further information please contact fpa’s press office on 020 7608 5265/5264. Mobile 07958 921060.
fpa (Family Planning Association) is the only registered charity working to improve the sexual health and reproductive rights of all people throughout the UK.