In the UK, the number of people with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is rising, and teenage pregnancy rates remain high. A recent report by the Health Protection Agency suggests that STIs have been rising in number consistently since the 1990s, with the highest increases in recent years being seen in the 16-24 age group. The most commonly diagnosed infection is Chlamydia, which over 100,000 people in the UK experienced in 2005. In addition, there is a low perception of risk in relation to sexually transmitted diseases for many people, but this is not necessarily the case. It’s very important to be educated about sexual health and contraception, and to know what the risks are and how to minimise them.

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Sexually Transmitted Infections

Most STIs can be treated, and treatment is most effective when started as soon as possible. For this reason, if you suspect that you have the symptoms of an STI, it’s important to contact your doctor or another point of contact who can confirm it – see below for more information about who you can contact. If you don’t treat the infection, it can get worse over time and may permanently damage your health or fertility, as well as the health of others if you pass it on. Some infections, such as herpes and HIV, cannot currently be cured, but there are medicines available that can minimise their symptoms.

The most common STIs are:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Genital Herpes
  • Genital Warts

Other STIs include Syphilis, HIV, and Trichomoniasis.

For further information visit the NHS website