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Safe sex teen discussions urged

30th November 2009

The government has presented a new campaign which is designed to persuade teenagers and young adults to discuss safe sex and contraception.

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The UK has the highest number of teenage pregnancies in Europe and a recent survey revealed that more than a quarter of young people aged 16-24 never discussed contraception with their partners.

The survey also showed that one in five respondents said they felt "awkward" talking about the subject with their friends.

The campaign has been launched following data released this year which showed the government's plan to reduce teenage pregnancies by 50% is unlikely to be reached.

The information revealed that in 2007 there were 41.9 pregnancies per 1,000 15-17 year olds - an increase from 40.9 in 2006.

Ministers said young people should not be ashamed to talk about the subject with family, friends, partners and health workers.

The advertisements used in the "Contraception. Worth Talking About" campaign will not show actors but will instead feature speech bubbles containing discussions about contraception.

Public Health Minister Gillan Merron said: "There is a method of contraception to suit the lifestyle of everyone, and it's right to talk about these options."

"The campaign is designed to change attitudes and show young people that having open conversations with their partners, friends, parents and health professionals is a must - it isn't something to be embarrassed about."       

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