BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Experts plan sex health strategy
Contraceptives
Not enough people are taking precautions
An expert panel has been set up to curb cases of sexually transmitted disease and unwanted teenage pregnancies in Scotland.

The group has been tasked by the Scottish Executive with creating a "sexual health strategy" for Scotland.

The panel, which includes medical experts, children's campaigners, a teacher and a priest, has also been given the task of improving sexual health services and education.

Recent figures showed that the number of people in Scotland infected with one of the most common STDs, Chlamydia, had risen by almost 30% in the past year.

The Health Education Board for Scotland (Hebs) said the country had the highest rate of unwanted pregnancies in Europe and the safe sex message was not getting through.

Malcolm Chisholm
Malcolm Chisholm: "Proposals for action"
Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "Scotland still has a disappointingly high level of unwanted teenage pregnancies - one of the worst in Europe.

"We are also seeing further rises in sexually transmitted infections.

"These are health problems that can cause lasting difficulties but which can be reduced by better availability of services and a broad understanding of the issues involved.

"There is already a great deal of information and research on these subjects.

"What we need to do now is translate that into a set of proposals for action."

The group will use existing research data and its own information to develop proposals.

Mr Chisholm said: "On the basis of an agreed and co-ordinated plan, we should be able to make real progress towards improving the sexual health of the people of Scotland."

Young most at risk

The 21-strong group includes Professor Phil Hanlon of the Public Health Institute of Scotland, Dr Candace Currie of the University of Edinburgh and Margaret McKay of Children First.

Lindsay MacHardy, of Hebs, said youngsters throughout Scotland were not heeding the safe sex warnings.

She said: "We have high rates of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, so we want to reduce those.

"And by linking together the information, the schools' work and the services that are out there, and through media work, then hopefully we can act together to reduce all those things."

Website list of sexually transmitted diseases
The drive will aim to educate young people

Figures released last month revealed that there were 10,580 cases of Chlamydia in the past year, compared to 7,615 in 2000.

The greatest rise was in the Lothians, where recorded incidents of the infection more than doubled from 1,195 to 2,401.

Women, who can be left sterile by the disease, were 164% more likely than men to contract it, the study found.

Dr Gordon Scott, of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary's genito-urinary medicine clinic, warned that young people were most in danger.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Morag Kinniburgh reports
"Sexual infections are increasing"
See also:

19 Jul 02 | Scotland
30 Nov 01 | Health
27 Nov 01 | Health
27 Jul 01 | Health
07 Dec 00 | Health
15 Dec 00 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes