HPA calls for greater condom use

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has urged people to make sure they always use condoms when sleeping with a new partner.

New figures from the organisation have revealed alarming sexually-transmitted infection (STI) rates in the UK, with new diagnoses of gonorrhoea climbing by around one-quarter in the space of just one year, the Daily Mail reports.

According to the findings, there were nearly 21,000 new instances of the disease in 2011, which was markedly higher than the 17,000 recorded across the previous 12-month period.

And of these new cases, it was shown that 57 per cent related to young people aged between 15 and 24 years old.

In a statement, the HPA - an independent UK group established by the government in 2003 - noted: "To combat the continuing high rates of STI transmission in England ... it is essential to always use a condom when having sex with casual and new partners."