Young Londoners’ sexual health is still among the worst in the country, despite projects and improvements to the way services work. Teenage pregnancy rates in 18 London boroughs are higher than the national average, and in some London boroughs, 1 in 13 young girls is falling pregnant.
The rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and herpes have increased and are still above national levels. In addition, 16-24 year olds account for nearly half of all STIs diagnosed in London’s Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) clinics.
To help address this problem, the report recommends:
* Sex and relationship education should be a core component of the soon-to-be mandatory personal, social and health education curriculum
* Pan-London branding and improved sharing of good practice and joint working for the chlamydia screening programme and sexual health media campaigns.
* The Mayor’s forthcoming Health Inequalities Strategy should include measures to improve young Londoners’ sexual health and reduce rates of teenage pregnancy.
* A sexual health champion should be appointed to encourage the implementation of good practice across the capital.