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Friday 25th May 2018

'Sexual health crisis' for teens

15th June 2007

A hard-hitting report has warned that teenagers across the UK are facing a sexual health crisis.


The Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV says this is being fuelled by alcohol, drugs and risky sexual behaviour. It also highlights a disturbing increase in sexually-transmitted infections and high teenage pregnancy rates in Britain, which are now the highest in Europe.

The IAG report also says that more and more teenagers are encouraged by the current celebrity culture in the way they define their lifestyle by taking drugs, alcohol and having under-age sex.

Sections of the media were also criticised by the report authors for glamorising celebrity excesses and it added that the promotion of perfect looks had resulted in many young people taking pills to lose weight.

One of the authors of the IAG report, Professor Mark Bellis, head of the centre for public health at Liverpool John Moores University, called the link between alcohol, drugs and risky sexual behaviour a “fuel for a sexual health crisis.?

The Department of Health-funded advisory group said restrictions on advertising condoms on television and the lack of compulsory sex education in schools was making the problem worse. It recommended condoms should be readily available to young people.

It also made the point that teenagers who engaged in risky sexual behaviour were at greater risk of becoming young parents, contracting a sexually-transmitted infection, failing at school, and suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

The Department of Health said sexual health was among its top priorities.


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