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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Reading

Empowering young women: improving sexual health awareness and services across Reading

We are delighted to have launched our first Healthwatch Reading Youth project today, which aims to raise awareness about women’s sexual health, focusing on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

We are also aiming to understand the challenges young women aged between 16-24 years face when accessing NHS sexual health services across Reading, and Wokingham Borough.

This project was chosen collectively by our youth team volunteers based on receiving feedback that "sex education in school was very limited" and from the volunteers' lived experience of sexual health education at school, which was reported as varied.

In addition, young people across the UK aged between 15-24 years continue to experience the highest diagnosis rates of the most common STIs.  Data from 2023 reveals that there were 166,899  new STI diagnoses in young people across the UK.*

This reflects the higher rates of partner change among this age group in which young women may be more likely to be diagnosed with an STI due to sexual mixing by age and gender - some young women may have older male partners.*


Call to action

 If you identify as female and are aged between 16-25 years, please complete our survey below. Share the study or this news article with others. The more responses we gather, the better we can improve sexual health knowledge and services for young people across Reading and beyond.

Click on the link to complete the short survey to ensure your voice is heard:

*Data from UK Health Security Agency’s Sexually transmitted infections and screening for chlamydia in England: 2023 report (updated 4 June 2024).

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