British Safe Sex Campaign Targets Reckless Youth
August 7, 2002
This week, Britain's FPA (formerly Family Planning Association) launches a campaign with a simple message: "Should have used a condom." The FPA is highlighting the fact that young people, caught up in dancing and sex, often give little thought to condoms. The new campaign during "Sexual Health Week" is designed for the partying, up-beat crowd.
Two video clips will be shown in 254 clubs and bars in England, Wales and Scotland, bringing the message to young people just as they are perhaps sizing up their latest potential partners. One activity involves cards bearing the picture of a male or female body with instructions to kiss it. Once the card is kissed, it reads: "Congratulations, you may have got a sexual infection!"
STDs are on the increase in the United Kingdom, especially among those in their teens and early twenties. According to Dr. Imtyaz Ahmed-Jushuf, clinical director for sexual health at Nottingham City Hospital, STD diagnoses in people under age 20 have increased by 33 percent since 1995. Even these figures may be too low because some infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, have few symptoms and often remain undiscovered.
According to the CDR Weekly, the online journal of the Public Health Laboratory Service, chlamydia infections have increased by 105 percent in females and 98 percent in males since 1995. In 2000, almost one percent of the 16- to 19-year-old girls in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had been diagnosed with the disease.
Part of the problem lies with attitudes and a lack of education. Over 50 percent of the younger readers of Cosmogirl! Magazine say they have not learned about STDs in school, according to a survey carried out by the magazine. Young people interviewed about STDs say the problem stems from sexual repression and the inability of the culture to deal with sex as a normal thing.
Independent on Sunday (London)
08.04.02; Maria Hilt; Maya Mailer; Meyrem Hussein
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.