Young more at risk over sex dis­eases

Burton Mail - - News - By BEN WAL­DRON ben­jamin.wal­dron@reach­plc.com @BenWal­dron96

TV li­cence hold­ers, in­clud­ing those who ac­cess TV via a lap­top, should be care­ful not to fall prey to a new scam, says Ac­tion Fraud HEALTH bosses in Bur­ton and Ut­tox­eter have urged peo­ple to take pre­cau­tions af­ter it was re­vealed a young per­son is di­ag­nosed with a sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted ill­ness (STI) every four min­utes.

Statis­tics from Pub­lic Health Eng­land (PHE) show that cases of chlamy­dia – a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion usu­ally spread through sex or con­tact with in­fected gen­i­tal flu­ids – and gon­or­rhoea are found in peo­ple be­tween the ages of 15 and 24 at a rate of 15 times per hour across the coun­try last year.

Some 144,000 cases of a sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted ill­ness were re­ported dur­ing 2017 in young peo­ple.

Ac­cord­ing to PHE, the im­pact of con­tract­ing an STI is sig­nif­i­cant, par­tic­u­larly when left un­treated.

Amanda God­frey, from Mid­lands Part­ner­ship Foun­da­tion Trust, the au­thor­ity re­spon­si­ble for sex­ual health in East Stafford­shire, said: “Many STIs don’t cause symp­toms so peo­ple may be unaware they are in­fected.

“Any­one who has had sex with­out a con­dom should con­sider get­ting tested. If you think you may have an STI it is bet­ter to know sooner rather than later.

“This can avoid prob­lems later on, as well as the risk of pass­ing an in­fec­tion on to some­one else.

“The most ef­fec­tive way to pro­tect your­self again STIs is to use a con­dom. We of­fer free con­doms at lo­ca­tions all across the re­gion. If you see a C-Card logo any­where, this is some­where you can ac­cess free con­doms.

“You can find out more about lo­cal sex­ual health ser­vices on our web­site, open­clinic.org.uk.”

STIs can lead to long-term health is­sues if not iden­ti­fied and treated. For in­stance, prob­lems such as pelvic in­flam­ma­tory dis­ease, in­fer­til­ity can oc­cur if chlamy­dia is not treated. Dr Hamish Mo­hammed, a con­sul­tant STI sci­en­tist at PHE, said younger peo­ple are more sus­cep­ti­ble than those over the age of 25. He added: “Young peo­ple are more likely to be di­ag­nosed with an STI than peo­ple aged 25 and older. STIs present a real threat to young peo­ple, and with­out us­ing con­doms, young peo­ple are putting them­selves and their part­ners at risk of get­ting an STI.”

Any­one who has had sex with­out a con­dom should get tested.

Amanda God­frey

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