There are 3,500 lesbian, gay and bisexual youths aged 15 to 25 living in and around Cardiff currently suffering from inadequate services, warns the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT).

The warning comes from a report entitled ‘Starting Out’ published today by the THT which is concerned Welsh gay people are putting their sexual health at risk due to a lack of support.

In 2004 there were over 2,000 new cases of chlamydia diagnosed within Wales, whilst HIV/AIDS infection rates are increasing nationwide.

The report warns that even though there are services available for young people, many respondents did not feel confident in accessing them, as they are mainstream services and not designed to meet the needs of LGBT young people.

Robjohn, National Manager for THT in Wales said: – “Cardiff has the nation’s most vibrant gay scene and hosts the biggest lesbian and gay event in Wales, the Mardi Gras. But despite this, there is still no dedicated service for lesbian and gay young people.

“This report shows how important it is for young people in Cardiff to have somewhere they can go for support and advice about coming out, meeting other people and protecting themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”