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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 3 March 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will ask the Independent Advisory Body on Teenage Pregnancy, and all other public bodies concerned with sex and relationships education, health education, counselling and mentoring, to work to limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases; and [HL1428]What measures the Departments of Health and of Education and Skills are taking to reduce the impact of sexually transmitted diseases. [HL1429]

The Government are committed to improving young people's sexual health. Both the teenage pregnancy and sexual health and HIV strategies encourage sexually active young people to use condoms to protect against unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Younger teenagers are also encouraged to delay sexual activity until they feel ready.These messages are communicated through national media campaigns and through the guidance issued to schools on the delivery of sex and relationship education. The public health White Paper, published in November 2004, included significant additional resources focused on improving young people's sexual health. In addition, the Children Act 2004 requires all local partners to co-operate to achieve the five outcomes for children, one of which is being healthy (including being sexually healthy). One of the key indicators used to measure progress on this outcome will be the incidence of new episodes of STIs among young people.Sex and relationship education, including education about HIV/Aids and other STIs, is a statutory requirement in all maintained secondary schools.