January 7, 2014
More than 5,000 children under the age of legal consent were diagnosed with sexual infections last year – and some of them were aged as young as 11.
Across the country 5,386 youngsters under the age of legal consent were treated for Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and other conditions.
In under a decade, the number of reported cases of children with sexually transmitted infections has more than doubled from just 2,474 in 2003.
There were 90 children aged 12 or younger diagnosed with STIs in 2012, according to figures released to MailOnline.
Doctors fear the cases may represent just the tip of the iceberg because many youngsters will be too scared to go and see a GP about their ’embarrassing problem’.
Other children will not even realise they have a problem as some conditions, such as Chlamydia which can lead to infertility, often do not have any symptoms at all.
Charities said easy access to online porn meant thousands of schoolchildren barely into their teenage years are getting their sex education online.
Over the last three years, 16,707 children under the age of 16 have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections.
That is equal to 15 children being diagnosed with STIs every single day.
The shock figures were released to the MailOnline by Public Health England under the Freedom of Information Act.
Experts said many of the children aged under 13 who were treated for infections would have been abuse victims rather than sexually active.