BBC Three
« Previous | Main | Next »

60seconds Sam: The Sex Season health check

Post categories:

Sam Naz Sam Naz | 11:55 UK time, Monday, 16 January 2012

From virginity, to websex, to sex addiction. We've tackled it all in our Sex Season and now that we're halfway through our series of programmes on BBC Three, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how our sex lives have affected our health. And I start with some good news...

Last summer, it was revealed that there'd been a drop in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England. For the first time in over a decade there'd been a 1% fall in STIs, which the Health Protection Agency said was a small, but significant step in the right direction. They reckon it's down to better awareness and increased screening of diseases.

 

Sexual Health

In fact, another report by health experts pointed out that 1.5 million young people visit clinics dealing with STIs every year. However, the Royal College of Physicians also said STIs mostly affect people under the age of 25. It suggested that alcohol and sexual risk-taking were linked and recommended that health services should warn young people about the dangers of getting drunk.

When it comes to STIs, cases of chlamydia, which can cause infertility in the long term, are by far the most common. The Health Protection Report found that 63% of young people diagnosed with an STI had chlamydia. Worryingly, most men and women with the infection don't have any symptoms so it can go unnoticed. Experts recommend that everyone with a new partner gets tested as soon as possible, and sexually active under 25s get screened every year. It's easy to treat with antibiotics, so spotting it early is vital.

When it comes to screening for HIV though, they went a step further. Experts have been calling for universal testing in the UK because they fear that a quarter of people with the virus don't know they have it. Gay men are most at risk  - 3,000 were diagnosed with HIV in 2010, which is an all time annual high. But it's not confined to one group; the virus can be passed on to anyone through unprotected sex, or sharing needles or syringes.

 

condoms

 

 

Using a condom during sex is still the best way to remain protected and safe from infection. There's a special section on the BBC Health website which explains all the different STIs and is packed with advice and information on treatment.

Where to get help

If you're worried, it's important to get yourself checked out as soon as possible. The sexual health charity FPA has put together a handy search on its website which will help you find your nearest clinic.

For anyone under 25 and feeling anxious about going to a clinic, the charity Brook offers free and confidential advice aimed at younger people which you can also find online.

And remember, the experts at these clinics have seen and heard it all before so no matter how embarrassed you may feel, don't let it put you off asking for help.

Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news bulletins on BBC Three.


You can catch up with the following Sex Season programmes on iPlayer:

How Sex Works

Websex: What's the Harm?

Confessions of a Sex Addict

Cherry Healey: Like a Virgin

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "Last summer, it was revealed that there'd been a drop in the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England. For the first time in over a decade there'd been a 1% fall in STIs, which the Health Protection Agency said was a small, but significant step in the right direction. They reckon it's down to better awareness and increased screening of diseases."

    Small steps but its worth when even a life is saved due to awareness. A big cheers for all those thankless hours spent by numerous volunteers and health care workers in creating the awareness.

    Cheers,
    Aids Fighter,
    Fight the suffering not the sufferer!

 

More from this blog...

Categories

These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.