Daily Mail (London) (08.26.2013)
Public Health England reported that STD incidence has increased by 46 percent among Britain’s under-25 population since the agency began collecting STD data in 2003. The agency reported 448,422 new STD diagnoses during the last year. Of special concern was a 21-percent increase in gonorrhea infections during the last 12 months, which experts attributed to the emergence of a new drug-resistant strain. More than half of gonorrhea cases and approximately two-thirds of chlamydia infections occurred among people under 25. Unprotected sex among teens and early adults was the major factor in increased STD incidence, according to the report.
A Labour Party spokesperson blamed higher STD incidence on the government’s sex education policy, described as “too little, too late,” and inadequate testing and treatment clinics. Family Planning Association Spokesperson Audrey Simpson stated that school sex education courses did not teach condom use, and people were not conscious of the importance of contraception.
A Department of Health spokesperson countered that sex and relationship counseling already was mandatory for secondary schools, and primary schools had the option to include sexual health education in their curriculum. The Public Health England report urged under-25 people to use protection with casual partners and to have regular STD testing at sexual health clinics. The report also recommended the immediate development of new drugs that could halt the global spread of new gonorrhea strains.