According to the latest data from Public Health England (PHE), 1 case of chlamydia or gonorrhoea is diagnosed every 4 minutes among young people in England.
Approximately, 420,000 individuals were diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 2017 in England, of which chlamydia accounted for nearly half. More than 144,000 individuals aged 15 to 24 years alone were diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhoea. England is continuing to witness a significant rise in rates of STIs. Gonorrhoea cases saw a 22% jump from 2016 to 2017.
PHE is running the ‘Protect Against STIs’ campaign to highlight the increased risks of contracting STIs with unprotected sex. STIs could have significant effects on health if left untreated. Complications of STIs include pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, swollen or painful testicles, reactive arthritis, and high risk for miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant women. Also, the treatment of STIs is challenging because many of them are symptomless and some like gonorrhoea are increasingly developing antibiotic resistance.
Dr. Hamish Mohammed, Consultant STI Scientist at PHE, said: "Young people are more likely to be diagnosed with an STI than people aged 25 and older. STIs present a real threat to young people, and without using condoms, young people are putting themselves and their partners at risk of getting an STI."