Ignorance 'fuels spread of chlamydia in the young'

Ignorance about the risks of contracting chlamydia is fuelling its spread among young people, results of a DoH poll suggest.

The survey of 1,243 people in England aged 15-24 found that around 20 per cent did not know that chlamydia can affect female fertility.

In addition, 65 per cent said they did not use a condom when they had sex with a new partner for the first time. Also 90 per cent do not have themselves tested for STIs before starting a new relationship.

The poll was conducted to mark the launch of the government's new campaign, centred on the tagline 'Chlamydia. Worth Talking About'.

Public health minister Gillian Merron stressed that infection with chlamydia can have serious consequences. 'Young people sometimes feel too embarrassed to ask for the test even though they know it is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK.'

She added: 'The campaign is designed to encourage normal conversations about sexual health, relationships, contraceptive choices and protection against STIs.'

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