A campaign aimed at educating young people about the risks of
sexually transmitted diseases was launched yesterday by the
government to coincide with Valentines Day with advertisements in
tabloid newspapers, lifestyle magazines and on radio and on-line
media. Spoof valentines cards are to be distributed at clubs,
warning of the risks.
Sexually transmitted diseases are on the increase, especially
among 18 to 30 year olds. There was an increase of 139 per cent in
cases of chlamydia between 1996 and 2002, and gonorrhoea cases rose
by 9 per cent in one year. The highest rates of gonorrhoea are in
young women under 20, and men aged 20 to 24. The number of cases of
syphilis has rocketed, with a 67 per cent increase from 717 cases
to 1193 cases from 2001 to 2002.