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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Sexual infection 'on the rise'
A campaign will promote safe sex
New figures show a large rise in the number of sexually transmitted infections in Scotland.

The statistics were announced by Scotland's chief medical officer.

The rise is partly due to more screening, but also because of increasingly risky sexual behaviour.

Cases of chlamydia have doubled across Scotland in the last four years.

New advert

According to Health Scotland, the number of newly-diagnosed cases of chlamydia in Scotland has risen from 5,690 in 1999 to 11,373 in 2002.

Although gonorrhoea, syphilis and herpes declined in the 1990s there is a rising incidence of new infections.

Gonorrhoea has gone up from 539 newly-diagnosed cases in 1999 to 821 last year.

New diagnoses of HIV have gone up from 156 in 1999 to 250 last year.

A new advert will be screened on Wednesday to encourage people in Scotland to practice safe sex.

You could say chlamydia is a stealth bug
Rak Nandwani,
The Sandyford Institute

Chlamydia is seen as particularly worrying because it does not always have symptoms, but can cause infertility.

"We are only starting to get real ideas of how much chlamydia there is out there," said Dr Rak Nandwani of the Sandyford Institute clinic in Glasgow.

"Particularly when we look at under 20s, we think one in 10 young Scots under the age of 20 has the chlamydia bug.

"But unfortunately only about three out of those 10 know anything about it.

"You could say chlamydia is a stealth bug."

Television advert
The adverts warn against complacency
The advert will drive home the emotional and social consequences of picking up a sexually transmitted infection.

Perhaps of most concern is the growing resistance of infections to antibiotics - the phenomenon of so-called superbugs, which highlights the need to concentrate on prevention, rather than cure.

The 320,000 campaign by health promotional body NHS Health Scotland is targeted at 16 to 20-year-olds and will run only at times of day when older teenagers are watching.

It shows an anxious 19-year-old but does not say whether his prolonged anxiety stems from having given his girlfriend a sexually-transmitted infection, or from having been infected himself.

BBC Scotland's Eleanor Bradford
"Cases of chlamydia have doubled in four years"

One in 10 men 'has chlamydia'
22 May 03  |  Health
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06 Aug 02  |  Scotland
Sex disease cases increase
19 Jul 02  |  Scotland

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