Health Matters on STIs – Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham

Lambeth joins force with Southwark and Lewisham to tackle the rise of Sexually Transmitted Infection in the boroughs as stated “ sexual health is a national and local public health priority. Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham (LSL) have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and teenage conception rates in London and the UK)

Cllr Dyer interview on Sexual Transmitted Infections in 16 – 24 years old in the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham,

Cllr Dyer MBE  (Lambeth Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care) also quoted “Something about shame, stigma and embarrassment, as many don’t get help because of this aspect, however , the Lambeth online service enable people to access help swiftly and privately and its really brilliant”.

The alarming rate of around 422,000 cases of sexually transmitted diseases in England and between the three boroughs.  There were over 22,000 diagnosed new cases in the Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. This seem to be affecting areas that are in deprivation. This is not a new trend for these borough, there have been a repetition of these  patterns. These three boroughs has comup in the top ten London boroughs, with Lambeth heading the top and Southwark behind, making these two borough the highest for STIs  and HIV across England going back to 2016. The largest group seem to surround the 16-24 years age group.

Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark are still showing a high rate of STIs around the UK, which is affecting mostly the young people ages 16-24 compared to other age groups in other parts of London and around England. What could this be down to the lack of opportunities to access local services, not having the means to be taught about safer sex and being able to ge free condoms as the price of condoms in the shop are quite expensive to purchase

Could the lack of talks on Relationships Sexual Education or not knowing how and where to get support or told about the options for contraception and how to access them freely, as fact shows that young people living in these three boroughs are sadly averaging more STIs, compared to other London boroughs and around England.

As we speak The Department for Education (DFE) has decided to put these things in place by stating they have “unveiled fresh guidelines for sex and health education across England, with relationships, cyber safer and mental health all set to be included as part of the new curriculum. Three new subjects have been created – relationships education from primary school, relationships and sex education at secondary school and health education for all ages”

Young people are amongst the highest group for being reinfected with STI and in Lambeth the estimation shows that 15-19 year old women are at a 13.1% and the men of the same age group are leading with 17.1%. This age group is seem to becoming reinfected within a 12 month period, that maybe due to the lack of negotiating skills with partners.

In terms of chlamydia in Lambeth the 15 – 24 years age group is a staggering 6131.9 per 100 ,000 test of 59% of 15-24 years old showed a whopping 10% being tested positive, compare to a 26%, 15-24 years nationally tested and only a 8% positive rate.

Studies in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham has also show a higher rate of STI of gonorrhoea for men and women. Chlamydia were also recorded in women. Below is the results from Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority

Results: “The gonorrhoea rate among black Caribbean 20–24 year olds was 2348 (95% CI 1965 to 2831) episodes per 100 000 compared with 931 (95% CI 690 to 1288) in black African men and 111 (95% CI 100 to 124) per 100 000 in white men of the same age. Among women gonorrhoea rates were highest in black Caribbean 15–19 year olds (2612, 95% CI 2161 to 3190 per 100 000). In contrast, rates in black African women of the same age (331, 95% CI 154 to 846 per 100 000) were similar to those of white women (222, 95% CI 163 to 312). Chlamydia rates were also highest in black Caribbean 15–19 year old women (4579, 95% CI 3966 to 5314 per 100 000), compared with 1286 (95% CI 907 to 1888) in black African

The link above is the voice of young people in Southwark and below the content pages.

Background and what we did 3

Demographics 6

Knowledge of sexual health 8

Influences on sexual behaviour 10

Getting information 13

Support from those close to young people 19

Support from professionals 23

Embarrassment and stigma 26

Recommendations 28

Getting support from professionals – Quotes form 16- 24 age groups

From an online survey by Health Watch Southwark , the majority of youngster said that they felt more comfortable when speaking to a health professional “as they are more experience”, “they have more knowledge” as they do not make them feel too embarrassed.

The majority of people said they would feel comfortable speaking to a health professional. Some explained that they trusted professionals’ advice: – “They are more experienced” – “They have the knowledge” – “They know what advice to give.” Others explained why they did not feel too embarrassed: – “The doctor is there for advice, it’s not personal so they won’t care” – “That’s their job, to make you feel comfortable – though some do judge” – “If they are experienced they make you feel comfortable.” However, some others would not find this so easy, with one even saying, “Unless I was really worried or dying I wouldn’t go to a doctor. I don’t want to be judged”. A young Trans person also said, “I’m not sure. I think I’d have issues with that. I still feel ashamed.” One person suggested, “Boys don’t like to get tested – they think they’ll stick something in [their urethra]. But I don’t think that’s true!” Three people mentioned concerns about confidentiality – “The doctor I go to has a big mouth so my parents would find out.” Another said they would not see their school nurse – “they’re not trustworthy. A sexual health nurse is more professional.” There was confusion about whether a school nurse could or would break confidentiality. Some Latin American young people found language a barrier – “The only boundary is the English. I would feel more comfortable if the doctor could speak the same language, rather than use a translator.”

BROOKS BRIXTON (to access information on sexual health)

374 Brixton Road

sti 5 brook

Open in Google Maps

Telephone: 020 7787 5000



Link below about Brook STi on how to get help and search about symptoms for age group up to 25 years of age

sti info

Link below to Dash Lambeth is a service offered to under 21 years old who attends Lambeth College, Lambeth school or other colleges in Lambeth to supports sexual health, drugs and alcohol

Lambeth & Southwark has noticed that since offering E-STI testing kits over the internet has seen a boom in the uptake from youngster compare to them being asked to go into a clinic, especially as survey has shown that most 25 and under age group do not use condom to sleep with a new partner. The sample to be return once you received the kit through the post and the result is then given via text or phone call.

There has also being criticism by some source that that this is only a way to cover the fact that funding are being cut and clients are not being offered the opportunity to get counselling  or other matter.

Link below to online sti-kits information

sti picture 4

The super gonorrhoea untreatable bug

The importance of safe sex has been further push forward  leading up to Valentines Day asthe super bug gonorrhoea has affected two women in the uk with the disease but there has been no known cases within Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.

The rise in unprotected sex especially in the under 24 age group has doctors concerned due to the resistance to antibiotics with this new super gonorrhoea. They are also telling youngsters to take measure to avoid other diseases such as chlamydia which take an average of up to two weeks to detect and with between 10%-40% of  with chalamydia can end up with pelvic inflammatory disease as it tends to affect the ovaries, womb and fallopian tubes and in men can affect fertility. There seem to be a fall in testing for Chlamydia as it has fallen by about 60% from around 2015.

sti picture 2 

Picture above of the gonorrhoea super bug that is said to be untreatable.

 Link below of the write up on the super gonorrhoea below

After reading you may ask what is STI (sexually transmitted infection)?

It is a viral or bacterial infection, that you passed on through not being protected, during sexual contact with someone else and it does not discriminate as anyone can get it.

Symptoms are not always noticeable straight after unprotected sex so its important to wear a condom or get tested regularly as the effect from diseases such as gonorrhoea, HIV, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and human papillomavirus (which affects women) and many more diseases. It is therefore very important to know what to look out for and what to do should you be unfortunate to catch STi, but the best cure is to protect yourselves whether or not you use the pill or other contraception by still using a condom to safeguard you against the STI diseases.

The link below to Lambeth, Southwark & Lewisham draft consultation on STI for 2018 – 2023

sti picture



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