Shocking figures show children as young as 13 are being treated for STIs

teenagerOur nation’s schoolchildren may need much better and effective sex education, following the findings of a new study that show 1,000s of children as young as 13 are contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

According to the Daily Star Sunday a new Public Health England study has shown that in particularly, new cases of teenage chlamydia are on the rise, with 178,845 cases in youngsters under the age of 19 and 2,938 discovered in teenagers aged 13 or 14, in the last 5 years alone.

The alarming figures also show how over 2 teenagers under the legal age of consent (16-years-old) are getting STIs such as genital herpes each day.

Moreover, an estimated 18,085 people under the age of 18 have contracted gonorrhoea during the previous 5 years, in addition to 20,842 cases of herpes, whilst syphilis, which can be fatal, was contracted 442 times.

The statistics are almost certain to concern parents and doctors, and force the government to put extra effort into boosting the country’s sex education classes.

Dr Michael Brady, medical director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We still have much to do to address the nation’s poor sexual health and the rates of STIs in those most at risk.

“Young people are disproportionately affected by STIs. One of the reasons for this is that we still don’t provide every young person with comprehensive and appropriate Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).

“A reduction in STIs must be a public health priority and as a fundamental part of this, the Government needs to ensure every young person has access to effective SRE that gives them the knowledge and skills to enjoy healthy and safe sex lives.”

Jules Hillier, head of the sexual health charity Brook, commented: “Too many young people aren’t getting the information they need about sex and relationships from their schools, while sexual health clinics are under threat due to cuts.

“We need to invest in education and services for young people to help them stay safe and healthy.”

It isn’t just the younger generation where STIs are on the rise though…Cases of STIs are going up across all age groups. From 2010 to 2014, the number of people being diagnosed with gonorrhoea has more than doubled, leaping from 16,843 to 34,958.

Meanwhile, syphilis cases have shot up from 2,647 in 2010 to 4,317in 2014 and herpes has increased from 29,698 to 31,777 in the same time period.

Surprisingly perhaps, chlamydia cases have dropped from 207,797 in 2012 to 206,774 by 2014.

Public Health England say that over the past 10 years the number of cases of STIs such as gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital warts and genital herpes have gone up – notably amongst males.

In England, young heterosexual people aged 16 to 24 account for:

  • 63% of chlamydia cases.
  • 55% of gonorrhoea cases.
  • 52% of genital warts cases.
  • 42% of herpes cases.

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