By Zubeida Malik
BBC Radio 4 Today programme
Does a "carefree" attitude stop people from getting tested for STIs?
What is the culture that lies behind the latest increase in number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK?
Andrew is an HIV positive 21-year-old who now works at the Sylvia Pankhurst sexual health centre in East London's Mile End Hospital.
"I would go out, drink alcohol, maybe use some substances that I shouldn't and meet someone in a bar or a club, have sex and wake up the next morning and... not worry too much about it," he says, recalling his youth.
"Sometimes it was protected, sometimes it wasn't. It wasn't of great importance to me at the time."
He says the young people he sees in his work often do not pay much attention to STIs.
"They know of the complications that can arise, like unintended pregnancy and STIs, but they don't really care, they don't see it as important," he says.
"They're very much more a here and now generation, they go out, they have sex and don't really think anything of it until a problem arises."
Making a difference
Andrew had been sexually active from the age of 12 and had his first test for STIs just before his 14th birthday.
"I went to a deputy head teacher at my high school and said I was a bit concerned and I wasn't sure where to go," he says.
"She actually took me to a local clinic to be tested. It was very scary, but it was worthwhile, and after that I felt more comfortable going to the clinic."
The clinic where Andrew works attempts to make it easier for young people to face up to STI testing.
Open the doors, and you are greeted by bright colours and posters. It does not feel like a hospital or a place where people come to get tested for STIs.
"Things are much more relaxed. Young people... are not frightened to actually come into the service," says Carol Wallace, general manager of the clinic.
"Nobody knows what you're actually coming in for. It could be for a packet of pills, it could be for a full STI screen."
After working in the field for 10 years, she believes young people now are much less embarrassed about going for a test.
It is the older people, she says, who still find the subject difficult.
But with STI re-infections on the rise, Andrew warns that young people's behaviour and attitude towards sex and STIs will change only if sex education is improved.
"I truly believe that sex education makes a difference", he says.
"I had really poor sex education at school, to the point that the person who came in to teach us did not want to talk about condoms
[they were] only really there because they had to be.
"People think [you] can get treated for every STI, which isn't the case. We do have STIs like HIV which you have for life.
"It only takes one sexual experience for an STI to be transmitted."