WHAT IS HIS-UK?
WHY IS THIS STUDY IMPORTANT?
Professor Kevin Fenton
Public Health England Regional Director for London.
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“This is an important area of research, following widespread public health concerns that men aged 16-25 are among those most at risk of STIs, with rates remaining consistently high among this age group. Interactive online training packages are an emerging way of encouraging condom use and hopefully this study will increase the evidence base in evaluating the effectiveness of public health campaigns delivered in this way.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health concern in the UK. Young people have been targeted as one of the most 'at-risk' groups. Chlamydia, the most common diagnosis, is mostly symptomless and if left untreated, can lead to serious complications including infertility. The health, social, and economic costs of STIs are huge and current estimates suggest that treatments cost the NHS £620 million per year.
Condoms are the most effective method at reducing the risk of STIs as long as they are used consistently (every sex act, using the condom from start to finish) and correctly (the condom is put on and then removed properly) . However, research has shown that condoms are often not used consistently and correctly.
There are many barriers to condom use, including negative attitudes, decreased sensation, reduced pleasure, fit-and-feel problems, application issues, and condom-associated erection difficulties. Behaviour change interventions often try to improve condom use knowledge and skills, but fail to focus on the reasons for condom non-use.