An STI is diagnosed in a young person every 4 minutes in England

Latest statistics from Public Health England (PHE) show that a case of chlamydia or gonorrhoea is diagnosed in a young person every 4 minutes in England. There were over 144,000 diagnoses of these sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in people aged 15 to 24 in 2017.

PHE’s ‘Protect Against STIs’ campaign highlights the increased likelihood of contracting a life-changing STI if people have sex without a condom. The impact of having an STI is significant, particularly if left untreated as they can cause major health issues, including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, swollen or painful testicles, and reactive arthritis. In pregnant women, STIscan lead to higher risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

The majority of STIs (like chlamydia) are symptomless, and gonorrhoea is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and at risk of becoming untreatable in the future. PHE’s campaign, therefore, encourages condom use, as prevention is better than cure.

Rates of STIs in England remain high across England, and there has been a significant year-on-year increase in certain cases like gonorrhoea (22% increase from 2016 to 2017).

In 2017, there were approximately 420,000 diagnoses of STIs in England and of those, chlamydia accounted for nearly half of them (200,000 diagnosis of chlamydia and over 44,000 diagnoses of gonorrhoea).

A large proportion of these STI diagnoses are amongst young people aged 15 to 24, who account for 63% of chlamydia diagnoses and 37% of gonorrhoea diagnoses. Many public figures and organizations have run campaigns aimed at encouraging young adults to practice safe sex, with even companies that create videos for websites such as telling people to wear a condom.

In a bid to get the nation’s young adults talking about and having safe sex, TV personality Sam Thompson (who appears in Made in Chelsea and Celebs Go Dating) hits the streets to find out young people’s attitudes to sexual health and condom use.

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