Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Young people 'most likely' to have sexual disease

Generic GUM clinic result paper
People are more likely to be tested for STIs than in the past

Young people continue to be by far the most likely to be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Scotland, a report has suggested.

The NHS National Services Scotland study said those aged under 25 made up just 13% of the population.

But they accounted for 72% of chlamydia cases, 59% of genital warts and 61% of gonorrhoea.

The report said the rates of teenage pregnancy and abortion had remained largely stable over the past decade.

However, there is continued evidence of a "strong association" between deprivation and a higher rate of teenage pregnancy, it warned.

The authors of the Scotland's Sexual Health Information report said an apparent rise in the number of STIs being diagnosed in Scotland was partly down to improvements in sexual health services, which meant people were more likely to be tested.

Effective treatment

Shirley Fraser, health improvement programme manager at NHS Health Scotland, said: "While we are seeing a rise in STIs, especially in young people under 19, much of this is due to our continued efforts to improve access to services as promoted by our sexual health strategy, Respect and Responsibility.

"However, we cannot be complacent and we will continue to promote positive sexual wellbeing, including consistent and accurate use of condoms and longer lasting contraception."

The report also showed a "significant" fall in gonorrhoea numbers and stabilisation of syphilis and HIV reports among men who have sex with men.

But it said there were still too many people turning up very unwell with undiagnosed HIV infection, even though highly effective treatment is available to prevent them becoming ill.

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