CASUAL sex by young people was today blamed for a sharp rise in sexually-transmitted diseases in this area.
More young people than ever before are contracting sexual diseases in Kirklees.
Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) - including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis - are on the up, according to latest figures.
And in Huddersfield last year, almost 4,000 people - some as young as 12 - sought help for the first time at the town's clinic for genito-urinary (GU) medicine.
Of those, 450 were diagnosed with chlamydia, 270 had genital warts and 92 were suffering from herpes.
Cases of gonorrhoea had trebled from five years ago. In 1999, 31 Huddersfield people were diagnosed with the infection.
Last year the clinic, based at the Princess Royal Community Health Centre in Greenhead Road, saw 95 new cases.
The diagnosis of parasite infection TV, Trichomonas Vaginalis, also increased, to 54 last year.
The centre's head GU consultant, Dr Lindsay Short, said: "Since I came here in 2001 I have seen an increase in gonorrhoea. Also, there is more HIV than there used to be.
"I am also seeing more chlamydia, although we changed the way we test for that and it is more sensitive now.
"But there is a lot of unprotected sex.
"I think one of the main differences these days is that everything is aimed at instant gratification, which is a reflection of society in general."
Dr Short said casual flings - especially between people aged 16 to 24 - were the most common cause of STIs in this area.
She added: "Casual partnerships, where the sex is more risky, are less likely to use condoms.
"Condom use is not great in this area. A lot of people don't even know how to put them on.
"It is about making people aware they have a responsibility to protect themselves. People can get infections after one sexual contact."
Dr Short encouraged anyone worried about contracting a STI to visit her clinic.
She added: "We try to be open for everyone and make them feel comfortable.
"Coming here is the nearest they will get to the Official Secrets Act.
"And it is better than worrying at home," said Dr Short.
* To contact the clinic, call 01484 344311.