In 2017, there were over 144,000 diagnoses of the sexually transmitted infections (STIs), chlamydia or gonorrhea, in people aged 15 to 24, which turns out to be a case of chlamydia or gonorrhea is diagnosed in a young person every 4 minutes in England.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

There were approximately 420,000 diagnoses of STIs in England in last year and of those, chlamydia accounted for nearly half of them (200,000 diagnosis of chlamydia and over 44,000 diagnoses of gonorrhea).

A large proportion of these STI diagnoses are among young people aged 15 to 24, who account for 63% of chlamydia diagnoses and 37% of gonorrhea diagnoses.

In a bid to get the nation’s young adults talking about and having safe sex, TV personality Sam Thompson (who appears in Made in Chelsea and Celebs Go Dating) hits the streets to find out young people’s attitudes to sexual health and condom use.

In the first of 2 new films, Sam Thompson and Dr Sara Kayat visit a Further Education College to speak to young people about how much they know about sexual health.

Sam then heads to Warwick with Dr Joe Peterson Camp, to meet a number of students to talk to them about their own experiences of sexual health and uncover their attitude towards condoms.

Dr Hamish Mohammed, Consultant STI Scientist at Public Health England, said:

Young people are more likely to be diagnosed with an STI than people aged 25 and older. STIs present a real threat to young people, and without using condoms, young people are putting themselves and their partners at risk of getting an STI.

Sam Thompson said:

I’m on a mission to encourage young people across the country to use condoms, with the help of Dr Sara and Dr Joe. We’re not talking about safe sex or normalizing the use of condoms enough, and finding out all the facts about STIs has taught me so much, which I want to let everyone know about too, so we can limit the spread of STIs.

The most shocking thing I’ve learned is that some STIs are symptomless and that some are actually becoming harder to treat – that’s scary. The best thing I’ve learned is that if you’re under the age of 25, you can get condoms for free by just looking online for a free condom finder; I’m spreading that message far and wide.

There’s really no excuse for people not to use condoms and we should all feel empowered to use them and to see condoms as a normal part of a healthy sex life.