Abortion & STI data published

WHO updated policy on safe abortion

The WHO has announced the iminent publication of the second edition of ‘Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems’

http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/9789241548434/en/

DH releases abortion statistics, England & Wales: 2011

The main findings of the newly released abortion statistics are:
•    The total number of abortions was 189,931, 0.2% more than in 2010 (189,574) and 7.7% more than in 2001 (176,364).
•    The age-standardised abortion rate was 17.5 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, the same as in 2010, but 2.3% higher than in 2001 (17.1) and more than double the rate of 8.0 recorded in 1970.
•    The abortion rate was highest at 33 per 1,000 for women aged 20, the same as in 2010 and in 2001.
•    The under-16 abortion rate was 3.4 per 1,000 women and the under-18 rate was 15.0 per 1,000 women, both lower than in 2010 (3.9 and 16.5 per 1,000 women respectively) and in the year 2001 (3.7 and 18.0 per 1,000 women respectively).
•    96% of abortions were funded by the NHS.  Over half (61%) took place in the independent sector under NHS contract, up from 59% in 2010 and 2% in 1981.
•    91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation.  78% were at under 10 weeks compared to 77% in 2010 and 58% in 2001.
•    Medical abortions accounted for 47% of the total, up from 43% in 2010 and 13% in 2001.
•    2,307 abortions (1%) were carried out under ground E (risk that the child would be born handicapped).

Non-residents:
•    In 2011, there were 6,151 abortions for non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales (6,535 in 2010).  The 2011 total is the lowest in any year since 1969.

FPA reacts to the release of abortion statistics

Julia Bentley, Chief Executive, welcomed the decrease in abortions for under 16s and under 18s alongside a very small increase in the total number overall while highlighting the worrying trend in restrictions to contraceptive service provision.

New data show STI diagnoses on the rise in England

Figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show new sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses rose by 2% in England in 2011, with nearly 427,000 new cases, reversing the small decline observed the previous year. Young heterosexual adults (15-24 years) and men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the groups at highest risk. More

Joint statement from FPA and Brook on STI data 

In a joint statement the sexual health charities said: “This is a worrying reverse trend. It demonstrates exactly why safer sex messages and campaigns that young people and gay men will listen to and take action on, are absolutely necessary. Testing and treatment services are vital, but alone they are not enough to change people’s behaviour. The impact of the government’s disinvestment in campaigning around safer sex and sexual health reflects in today’s statistics. Yet again we see more data illustrating why there is an urgent need for statutory sex and relationships education in schools alongside sustained investment in sexual health services.”

WHO: Urgent action needed to prevent the spread of untreatable gonorrhoea

Millions of people with gonorrhoea may be at risk of running out of treatment options unless urgent action is taken, according WHO. Already several countries, including Australia, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom are reporting cases of resistance to cephalosporin antibiotics – the last treatment option against gonorrhoea. Every year an estimated 106 million people are infected with gonorrhea, which is transmitted sexually. More:

Policymakers Recommit to Unfinished Agenda of Landmark Cairo Population Conference

In Istanbul, on 25 May lawmakers from 110 countries reaffirmed their support to the principles and goals of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), emphasizing their continued centrality to efforts to reduce poverty and safeguard people’s health and rights, including sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. Press release