Sharp rise in STIs in under 16s

The number of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) among under-16s has risen sharply in the past five years, according to figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats.

The answers to a parliamentary question show that STI diagnoses among under-16s have risen by 58% to 3,913 between 2003-7, diagnoses of chlamydia are up 90%, genital herpes up 42% and genital warts up a third.

Norman Lamb, shadow Liberal Democrat health secretary, said: ‘This shocking increase is a damning indictment of the government’s complacency when it comes to the sexual health of our children.

‘The number of youngsters contracting STIs is very disturbing. Children must be warned about the risks involved in sexual relationships.

‘The government has slashed public health spending over recent years. This short-sightedness is putting a whole generation at risk of a sexual health crisis.’

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