AIDs charity calls for improvement in sex education

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To mark National Condom Week, the National AIDS Trust is calling for urgent improvements in the education of young people about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and about the use of condoms.

An Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by the National AIDS Trust, found that a quarter of young people aged 15-24 years stop using condoms when they or their partner is on the pill.

Yet the pill offers no protection against HIV or STIs. The survey also found that public awareness of how HIV is transmitted has seriously declined over the last five years.

The National AIDS Trust is supporting the campaign to make comprehensive sex and relationships education a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust said: “Too many young people fail to realise that using a condom with a new sexual partner is a vital protection not only against pregnancy but also against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

“The Government must act now to ensure consistent education around condoms and sexual health in schools, ending the current postcode lottery.”

The research also found that women are more likely to use condoms than men, 53% of women say they would always use a condom with a new sexual partner compared to 39% of men.

And over half (55%) of young people would always use a condom with a new sexual partner, compared with 22% who would ‘usually’ and 12% ‘sometimes’ use a condom with a new sexual partner.