It is well recognised that people aged 15–24 have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In an area failing to meet national targets on chlamydia detection in this age group and overall HIV testing, junior doctors are delivering sessions to educate young people. The project aims to increase attendance at sexual health clinics and improve sexual health in this high-risk group.Methods
Since 2012 junior doctors have been visiting secondary schools locally to deliver a 50-minute teaching session to 14–16 year olds covering condom application, symptoms of STIs and accessing their local sexual health clinics. The sessions have received positive feedback from teachers and students. This year a questionnaire has been introduced to quantify pre and post teaching knowledge.Results
188 children completed the questionnaire. Pre-teaching scores included 25.9% on STI symptoms, 34.9% on where the local clinic is and 27% awareness of what happens there. The post-teaching scores showed an improvement of 49.8%. 89% students reported feeling more comfortable discussing STIs following the session.Discussion
We have highlighted that there is a need to provide more information to 14–16 year-olds about the symptoms of STIs and their local sexual health clinic. We have also demonstrated that a junior doctor led programme is an efficacious method of delivering this. Education from a young age could contribute towards increasing screening and reducing STI rates.