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Scottish NHS boards 'failing to tackle spread of STIs'

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Scottish NHS boards are failing to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections effectively because their efforts to trace previous sexual partners of STI carriers are “generally weak”, a report says.

NHS Quality Improvement Scotland warned that the entire country was at risk of catching STIs such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia unless methods of tracking down potential carriers were improved.

It said NHS boards should establish systems that record whether patients have given consent for health staff to contact their previous sexual partners to tell them about their infection.

If consent is given, this should be acted on “effectively” by warning the ex-partners of the risk of them spreading STIs, the organisation recommended in its report, Improving Sexual Health Services In Scotland: integration and innovation.

Scotland, which saw chlamydia cases soar 110% between 2000 and 2004, has rising STI and HIV rates, as well as a growing number of teenage pregnancies.

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