The Government is launching a TV advertising campaign to encourage teenagers to use condoms over Christmas to prevent pregnancies resulting from drunken sex.
The TV ad shows a pair of teenage party-goers consuming large amounts of alcohol and having sex, resulting in the girl getting pregnant. The tagline used is, “Want respect? Use a condom”.
Driving the ad initiative is Young People’s minister, Beverley Hughes.
She commented: “This new TV ad shows how one drunken night can lead to an unplanned teenage pregnancy. It’s at this time of year, the Christmas party season, when we need to get across to young people the dangers of unprotected sex”.
This TV campaign comes in tandem with news that taxi drivers in Aberdeen are participating in a scheme to hand out free condoms to customers who have been on a night out, in an effort to promote safer sex.
Sexual Health Specialist, Dr Steve Baguley, said he found that “hazardous drinkers were the most likely to catch an STI” and hailed the taxi initiative a “fantastic idea”.
Today Dr Tony Jewell, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, released his Annual Report 2007. The report highlights the alarmingly poor sexual health of Welsh teenagers.
Figures from the report show that chlamydia is on the rise among teenage girls. The rate for teenage pregnancy remains high while 39 per cent of conceptions for women aged 15-17 end in abortion.
Dr Jewell acknowleged: “Despite our best efforts to promote sexual health, clearly more needs to be done”.
But rather than abandoning the failing ‘safer sex’ policy, Wales will be carrying on with the same strategy, including increasing young people’s access to contraception.
Yet studies such as that by Professor David Paton of Nottingham University show that the increased availability of contraception fails to cut unwanted pregnancies.
Professor Paton warns: “There has been a tendency for the Government’s teenage pregnancy strategy to focus on creating schemes where teenagers can get the morning after pill or other forms of family planning at school or clinics.
“The danger with this sort of approach is that it can lead to an increase in risky sexual behaviour amongst some young people.
“There is now overwhelming evidence that such schemes are simply not effective in cutting teenage pregnancy rates.”