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Sex Education Urgently Needed

Media Release

22 March 2004

Sex Education Urgently Needed

New Zealand First is calling on the Government to act immediately and run a public sex education campaign aimed at teenagers to try and stem the alarmingly fast growing rates of sexually transmitted diseases in this age group.

The latest ESR report on sexually transmitted infections showed thousands of cases of STD’s were reported in this age group between October and December 2003.

“These are very distressing figures, particularly the 27 cases of infections in girls under the age of 15-years-old,” said health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“One of the most urgent problems is the growing rate of Chlamydia infection. A public education system is urgently needed. The use of television advertising, especially on music channels, printed advertisements in the teenage magazines would be effective ways of getting the message across.

“The risky behaviour indulged in by many teenagers is aggravated by easy access to alcohol and drugs. The lowering of the drinking age has done nothing to improve the situation and we should be re-examining that decision.

“In the meantime it is absolutely essential that action is taken to see better communication with our teenagers about the dangers of unsafe sex,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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