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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Disproportionate level of STIs among young people, HPA report finds

By Zehra Zaidi

The number of newly diagnosed sexually transmitted infections (STIs) rose again in 2007, with the highest rates reported among young people.

Figures published today by the Health Protection Agency showed 397,990 people were diagnosed with STIs across all age groups in 2007 – a 6% increase from 2006.

16-24 year olds accounted for almost half the cases reported, despite only constituting 12% of the population. In the UK 65% of all cases of chlamydia, and half of all cases of genital warts and gonorrhoea were diagnosed in young people attending GUM clinics.

The agency hailed the efforts of general practice, following a substantial rise in the number of chlamydia infection diagnosed in GP surgeries participating in the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. Nearly double the number of screens were performed in community settings compared to 2006.

The HPA also issued a fresh warning to young people about risk of HIV infections, after rates increased by nearly three times since 1998.

Professor Peter Borriello, director of the Agency's Centre for Infections, warned more action is required to tackle rising rates of sexually transmitted infections. ‘A shift in behaviour is the only way that we will bring down this continued increase in infections', he said.

Chlamydia trachomatis Chlamydia trachomatis

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