Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise and are affecting young women the most, new figures show.
Data from the Health Protection Agency revealed that almost half a million new cases of STIs were diagnosed across the UK in 2009.
Two-thirds of new diagnoses were found in women under the age of 25 years, the figures indicated.
Almost three-quarters of newly-discovered gonorrhoea and 66 per cent of new-found genital warts were identified in young women.
Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of the Health Protection Agency’s STI section, said:
“These latest figures show that poor sexual health is a serious problem among the UK’s young adults … [and] also highlight the vulnerability of young women.
“Many studies have shown that young adults are more likely to have unsafe sex and often they lack the skills and confidence to negotiate safer sex.”
The most common STI found across the UK was Chlamydia, with some 217,000 new cases being diagnosed in the country last year alone.