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Sexual behaviour "remains unchanged"

Despite awareness about sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), the behaviour of more than half of sexually active single people has not changed, figures reveal.

An Office for National Statistics 2008-09 survey showed that 59% of men and 52% of women not in an exclusive long-term relationship confessed to not having reduced one-night stands or started using a condom more often in response to concerns over HIV and other STIs.

Only 6% of men and 7% of women said they had a lower number of one-night stands as a result.

Of the 30% of women aged between 16 and 49 who took a test for chlamydia, 38% opted for it in the past year, the contraception and sexual health poll found.

Around 12% of men under 70 had more than one sexual partner in the previous 12 months, while 74% had only one and 14% had none.

Figures for women under 50 revealed that 10% had more than one sexual partner in the same period, while 80% had one and 10% did not have any.

The morning-after pill was used by 7% of women at least once in the year before the interview.

There were misconceptions regarding the pill, with 4% believing it protected against pregnancy until the next period and under 1% thinking it protected against STIs.

Around 57% of women aged 16 to 19 used contraception, compared with 72% of those aged 45 to 49. But authors of the report warned that there were only 60 surveyed for data on teenagers.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Office for National Statistics