After today’s news that the frequency of sexually transmitted disease is increasing in the UK, particularly in adolescents and young adults, we asked Dr Malcolm VandenBurg, a Harley Street Private Specialist in Medicine including Sexual Health and General Medicine for his comments.
He is particularly well placed to give this, as he has not only brought up four children himself, but ran the parent support services, running regular groups for parents, at the Capio Chelsea Adolescent Mental Health Hospital.
Dr Malcolm VandenBurg commented that ‘we clearly have to try to get these young people to use adequate contraception, even if we are not able to prevent them engaging in sexual contacts at a younger and younger age. The frequency of sexual contact and the frequency of sex without condoms is clearly related to both alcohol usage and the usage of other drugs and we have to tackle all the cultural and social reasons why all these are on the increase’.
He believes that ‘not only do people have to be persuaded not to engage in unprotected sexual activity, but that they have to be informed that even if they used a condom for protective vaginal sex, they can still put themselves at risk due to diseases outside the condom area such as herpes, warts, syphilis, the parasite commonly known as ‘crabs’ and lice all over the body’.
He pointed out that ‘there is increasing transmission via unprotected oral sex when this is practiced, as well as an increased risk if and when a condom is put on with the mouth which is common among sex workers. He was clear to point out not only the risk of infection, but also the psychological distress often caused by pregnancy and promiscuous activity.
There are clearly also additional dangers from the use of drugs such as poppers and other illegal drugs which are used by people to enhance their sexual enjoyment.
Dr Malcolm VandenBurg BSc MBBS MISMA FCP FFPM FRCP
T: 020 7435 9386 / 07850 049 134
Pinero House, 115a Harley Street, London W1G 6AR
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