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Sexual infection rates fifth highest in capital

PUBLISHED: 17:15 01 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:10 14 October 2010

ISLINGTON has the fifth highest rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in London, according to alarming new figures. The statistics released by the Health Protection Agency show that around one in 55 of the borough s residents has an STI. The figu

ISLINGTON has the fifth highest rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in London, according to alarming new figures.

The statistics released by the Health Protection Agency show that around one in 55 of the borough's residents has an STI.

The figures also show that Islington's rates of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes and genital warts are all above the national average.

Nancy Padwick, sexual health commissioning manager for Islington NHS, said: "A contributing factor for Islington to be among the higher rates of STIs in London may be due to having a large population of young people. A large proportion of deprived areas tend to be associated with higher STI rates."

"There is an increase in screening and sensitivity of STI tests. The figures will reflect this new trend but there are still large numbers of people not practising safe sex."

Ms Padwick said that there are still factors that make it difficult to educate young people on how to protect themselves against infections. Professionals continue to experience barriers when trying to work with young people and schools," she said.

"Unfortunately, there is the thought process that some schools and parents still feel that providing information or sex education may result in increased sexual activity.

"It is really important that more is done to give young people the access to good sexual health education, to enable them to make informed choices and protect themselves from risk."

Across London, syphilis has risen by 24 per cent and chlamydia by 14 per cent. Dr Helen Maguire, an expert in STI trends from the Health Protection Agency, said: "This is likely to be due to their lack of skills and confidence to stop risky sexual behaviour and negotiate safer sex. People must take responsibility for their own sexual well-being and ensure they use a condom with all new and casual partners.


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