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Children testing positive for STIs

Hundreds of children aged under 16 in Scotland contracted sexually transmitted infections (STIs) last year, according to official data.

A total of 181 youngsters were infected with chlamydia, figures from the Information and Statistics Division have shown.

Genital warts were contracted by 62 teenagers, while 13 showed signs of herpes and 10 were diagnosed with gonorrhoea.

STI rates have soared in recent times and data released in July showed a 6% jump in infections across the UK.

Chlamydia saw the biggest rise in under-16s across Scotland. The infection, known as the "silent epidemic", is the most common and treatable STI and often shows no symptoms but can cause infertility if left untreated.

The figures come a day after the Scottish government announced plans to increase the number of drop-in clinics where youngsters can get advice on sexual health matters.

Ministers want to increase access to sexual health services in remote and rural areas of the country.

There are already a number of schools where youngsters can get help and advice, along with free condoms and pregnancy tests.

No schools currently provide youngsters with the morning-after pill emergency contraception, and a government spokeswoman stressed there were no plans to change this.

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