"The use of condoms is a fundamental public health issue, therefore, from the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare we strongly recommend that the entire population, but especially young people, always carry the condom and use it in their sexual relations. ", said the acting Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, María Luisa Carcedo.
The minister launched a strong message on Thursday during the press conference to present the new prevention campaign against Sexually Transmitted Infections (ITS). "The condom is the best protection barrier against the transmission of STIs and HIV.
The new campaign, framed within the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy that is being updated by the Ministry in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities and the technical committee, is aimed at the younger population with a fundamental objective: "that young people and young people always use the condom in their sexual relations, in any situation and circumstance. "
"The Ministry is recovering an activity that is essential, and provided for in Article 43 of the Constitution: the prevention of diseases, the promotion of health and the promotion of health education," said Maria Luisa Carcedo.
Likewise, the campaign responds to a specific problem such as the increase in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among young people.
Since 2010, gonorrhea infection rates have been increasing steadily. In recent years there has been a significant increase with an average annual increase of 26.3% between 2013 and 2017, according to the latest data of Epidemiological Surveillance, collected annually by the Carlos III Health Institute. The highest rates are registered in men.
The infection by gonorrhea reaches the highest rate, 78.1 per 100,000 inhabitants, in population between 20 and 24 years.
Infection with syphilis registered a less marked increase, but in 2017 the highest rates occurred since the data was collected, 10.61 per one hundred thousand inhabitants, compared to 2.57 registered in 1995.
As in gonorrhea infection, the rates were higher in men than in women, but in this case, the most affected age group is 25 to 34 years.
In the case of chlamydia infection, the highest rates occurred between 20 and 24 years and more in women than in men.
"To these data we have to add other trends that indicate that in recent years the use of condoms has decreased between 15 and 18 years," said the minister.
"We want to know why these risky behaviors are taking place," María Luisa Carcedo insisted. "There are attitudes of relaxation against STIs, including HIV infection, there is an absence of information and training and we want to continue deepening it".
In total in Spain there were 23,942 reported cases of gonococcal infection, syphilis, chlamydia and lymphogranuloma venereum in 2017.
The Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare has launched the prevention campaign that today is presented as the first shock measure. With two objectives: The first, reduce the impact of the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, in the young population.
The second, "to raise awareness among the population about their responsibility in improving their sexual health and the people with whom they are related", said the minister. "Hence the motto of the campaign: Preventing STIs is in your hands.
The Director of Public Health, Quality and Innovation, Pilar Aparicio, who has appeared at a press conference with the minister, has insisted that this is a campaign framed in the National Strategy of Sexual and Reproductive Health of the National Health System ( SNS).
"The low perception of risk that adolescents and young people have makes them a group that is especially vulnerable to infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections," pointed out Pilar Aparicio. "That's why this campaign aims to reduce the impact of infections and raise awareness."
The campaign "Prevent STIs is in your hands, do not get complicated" is composed of video, posters and banners that can be consulted and downloaded in this link.
Its diffusion will begin next Monday June 17, mainly social networks (YouTube, Instagram and Facebook) and music content platforms (Spotify) with the hastag #SiemprePreservativo
It will also be disseminated in the digital media with the largest audience among young people between 14 and 29 years old.