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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 November 2005, 22:13 GMT
Huge rise in sexual disease cases
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Routine testing for HIV is now being offered
New cases of HIV in Scotland have reached the highest level since records began, research has revealed.

The NHS survey also showed that cases of syphilis trebled and chlamydia cases were rising by more than 1,000 a year.

In 2004, 364 people tested positive for HIV, the highest annual total since recording began in 1986 and there has been an increase for men and women.

However, this could be partly due to changes at sexual health clinics which now routinely offer HIV tests.

This was the first time there has been such comprehensive information on the sexual health of the nation.

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Syphilis cases increased from 51 cases in 2002 to 189 last year.

The under-25s accounted for two thirds of chlamydia cases, however for most other types of sexually transmitted infections the majority of cases involved the over-25s.

Stewart Maxwell, the deputy health spokesman for the SNP, said the figures showed that the current public health message was not reaching the public.

"The Scottish Executive must now urgently review its method of promoting sexual health and minimising sexually transmitted infections," he said.

We expect boards to deliver local services within the record investment they have all received
Andy Kerr
Health Minister

Health Minister Andy Kerr said the executive's national sexual health strategy, launched earlier this year, set out a range of measures to improve sexual health.

"NHS boards have been allocated funding totalling 4.5m this year, with similar amounts over the next two years to improve sexual health services in their areas," he said.

The minister said the cash was in addition to money already being spent by NHS boards.

He added: "We expect boards to deliver local services within the record investment they have all received."


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SEE ALSO:
Minister defends sex health plan
14 Oct 05 |  Scotland
More gay men having 'risky sex'
28 Sep 05 |  Health
Website offers sex health advice
30 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Survey seeks sex education views
01 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Respect at centre of sex strategy
27 Jan 05 |  Scotland
HIV figures reach record number
20 Oct 04 |  Scotland


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