Statistics show that six in ten (59%) of those diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection are aged between 15 and 24. Meanwhile, a survey of 2,007 sexually active young people carried out by YouGov, found widespread risky sexual behaviour: almost half (47%) of those questioned said they had had sex with someone for the first time without using a condom, and one in ten said they had never used a condom.
The research also identified difficulties in discussing the topic, with 56% of men and 43% of women saying it was difficult to discuss STIs with friends – while 58% of all respondents said that if they had an STI it would be difficult to talk to their sexual partner about it.
This research revealed that large numbers of young people are having sex that puts them at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection, so we worked with Public Health England to launch the first government sexual health campaign in eight years.
"Protect against STIs, use a condom" was created by Ogilvy UK, which won the work in September 2017, and will focus on media favoured by the target 15-24 audience: Instagram Stories, Snapchat and Promoted Stories.
The campaign features real people talking about their own experience of having an STI – but with their faces replaced with emojis, which PHE said was the "visual language" of this age group.
Partners for the campaign including Durex, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV and Family Planning Association.