HIV infection up in UK

Statistics show that young people in the UK are at greater risk from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In 2003, young women accounted for 73% of all female chlamydia diagnoses and young men accounted for 55% of all male chlamydia diagnoses. Young black people are also at higher risk of contrac

ting STIs than young white or Asian people.

In response to the Health Protection Agencys latest statistics on HIV and sexual health, Nick Partridge, the charitys Chief Executive, said the majority of diagnoses of people living with HIV were in heterosexual men and women, 73% of which were likely to have been acquired in Africa.

It will be the same story year after year unless prevention efforts improve and the recent Government funding to improve sexual health services is spent wisely. Thats why were calling for PCTs to commit publicly, today, to spend their share of the £250 million funding on the front line sexual health services that need it so desperately.

Were at a crossroads – if we dont concentrate on prevention and access to services for African communities now, we will continue to have ever-increasing rates of HIV and the worst sexual health in Western Europe, said Partridge.

Ajamu, which means coming together, will create peer educators to communicate messages about safer-sex and relationships through a series of workshops.

Family Affairs actress, Ebony Thomas, who is supporting the Ajamu project as part of her role as Terrence Higgins Trusts ambassador for African and Caribbean communities said: Sex and sexual health are so important for young people, especially teenagers. People are having sex younger, but theyre not getting the education they need. In schools today teachers arent always discussing the real issues around sex and relationships – It’s all about biology. I think this project will be a great way to get these issues across.

– Sally Wright on 020 7816 8620 [email protected] or Oliver Wright on 020 7816 8622 / [email protected]

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