Figures released by NHS Yorkshire and the Humber have shown the number of people attending genitourinary medicine clinics – which deal with sexually transmitted infections – in the county has soared.

In 2008/09, 123,781 visited these facilities, compared with 110,770 the previous year, but the health organisation says more people need reminding about the dangers of unsafe sex.

The warning came as the Department of Health unveiled an awareness campaign entitled Contraception: Worth Talking About, which aims to encourage young people to be more open in talking about sexual health.

Paul Johnstone, NHS Yorkshire and the Humber’s director for public health, said: “We are committed to raising awareness of all sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and encouraging everybody to practice safe sex.

“The most effective way of protecting yourself against HIV or any other STI is by using a condom.

“We have made it easier for people to see a sexual health professional and, as a result, more people are seeking their help.”