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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Sex health record causes concern
Chlamydia rates in young women remain a cause for concern
Public consultation has started on a strategy to tackle the poor sexual health record of Dumfries and Galloway.

According to the most recent statistics, the region had the highest rate of Chlamydia infection in Scotland for women under 25.

Pregnancy rates for girls between the ages of 13 to 15 are also amongst the highest in the country.

The draft sexual health strategy said a wide range of social issues needed to be addressed to tackle the problem.

The document has been put together by the region's multi-agency, sexual health strategy group.

It said the issue was not simply one of reducing sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.

The group said it was also vital to address a complex range of factors which could affect people's sexual health, such as attitudes in society, culture, religion and economics.

Inadequate premises

Local and national targets have been set to improve the region's sexual health record, which is described as poor.

That is in recognition of year on year increases in transmitted infections and abortion rates for unwanted pregnancies.

The number of HIV infections recorded locally was also said to be increasing.

Under-funded treatment services, inadequate premises and limited provision for those living in remote areas were highlighted as key challenges.

The draft sexual health strategy is currently the subject of a three-month public consultation.


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