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UK Facing Major Sexual Health Crisis Among Teens

sages out at a young age.

It said there is a "need to realize what it is like to be young today", including that young people have desires to "experiment and explore" and "try something new".

Efforts should therefore be made to ensure young people receive "clear and factual information on the effects of drugs, alcohol and sex, and exposing the myths".

Such elements should be part of compulsory education, rather than the non-statutory arrangement in schools as at present, the report said.

One recommendation was for the Government and stakeholders "to encourage a review of advertising regulations on condoms - for example, to remove the restrictions on showing condoms before 9pm (except Channel 4, which can show condoms from 7pm) or unwrapped condoms before 10.30pm."

The report said STI rates have risen greatly over the past 12 years, with chlamydia and HIV both increasing by 300%, gonorrhea by 200%, and syphilis by 2,000%.

"In a single act of unprotected sex with an infected partner, adolescent girls have a 1% chance of acquiring HIV, a 30% chance of getting genital herpes, and a 50% chance of contracting gonorrhea."

Baroness Gould, chairman of the IAG, said: "We applaud the various awareness campaigns for young people around sex, drugs and alcohol but they are not enough in isolation.

"As well as health promotion and prevention messages, all involved should review the areas that potentially encourage the young to use alcohol and drugs, with the associated impact on sexual activity.

"We recommend that the Government works with manufacturers, advertisers and broadcasters to look at issues like advertising alcohol to the young and equalization of children's toys.

"As part of this - and as a bare minimum - the IAG believes schools must provide PSHE (personal, social and health education) that helps young people negotiate today's personal, social and health issues. <
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