A pro-life group has criticised a sexual health awareness week organised by the Family planning Association claiming the charity is promoting a “safe sex hoax.”

Precious Life said the FPA’s ‘Sexual Health Week’ Campaign is a myth and alleged that “safe sex” is causing a sexually transmitted disease epidemic.

Bernie Smyth from Precious Life said “Our young people are being misled by the FPA. Surely they must have noticed the correlation between pushing the so-called ‘safe sex’ message to young people, and the corresponding rise in STDs. When will they get the message – that there is no such thing as safe sex, it’s a hoax, and pushing it is the major cause in the surge in STDs”

She added “Condoms do not protect against STDs. They are certainly not effective against the papilloma virus (or genital warts) which is the fastest growing infection and can cause cervical cancer in women. Condoms, if used at all, are often used ineffectively and the whole ‘safe sex’

message gives the green light for children and young people to experiment with sex.

“The real answer to this crisis is to encourage abstinence. Children and young people should be valued enough to have their formative years protected, and not sexualised as they are now. This in turn means that their self-esteem is raised and they are encouraged to focus on other matters rather than sex, such as friendships, family, and their studies and careers.

!This is the way forward and the only strategy to reduce teenage pregnancy and rising STD’s. How much longer and what more damage will be done before they acknowledge that ‘safe sex’ is a myth”

But a spokeswoman for the FPA was quick to dismiss the group’s claims, she told PinkNews.co.uk “The idea that safer sex campaigns do not work is just plain wrong. One of the biggest falls in sexually transmitted infections came during the late 80s and early 90s as a direct result of the campaigns around HIV/AIDS. It is precisely because this message has been lost that this generation of young people know so little about the safer sex.

“Evaluations in America have shown that abstinence until marriage programmes are not effective, and leave young people more vulnerable to infections and pregnancy by telling them that contraception doesn’t work. Abstinence programmes consider any choice outside heterosexual marriage to be wrong, which of course excludes vast numbers of young people, including those already have sex, and those who may be lesbian or gay.

“Enabling young people to make informed choices about their sexual behaviour and understand their sexuality is the way forward in the 21st century.”