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 gonorrhea 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 gonorrhea (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 gonorrhea).
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 gonorrhea diagnoses. Even if some infections do not show any symptoms, after being sexually active, it would be within the interest of both parties to visit a clinic to get checked out. Some people may be embarrassed to speak about something like this, but getting tested is important. Health should be the top priority and visiting a clinic will only provide people with ways of managing the infection if they are found to be positive. Everyone should be aware of practicing safe sex, as this can prevent people from getting an STI.
Many public figures and organizations have run campaigns aimed at encouraging young adults to practice safe sex. Adult entertainers of all sexual identities are also aiming to raise awareness of the need to practice safe sex by engaging in public conversations about STIs and the need to use protection. This sparks conversations from within the adult industry are expected to have an influence on the wider public.
Similarly, 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.