TEENAGE girls are NINE times more likely than boys to catch a sexually transmitted infection, the Evening Times can today­ ­reveal.

Official figures show 15-year-old girls are, on average, nine times more likely to catch chlamydia than boys their age.

And dozens of children - some as young as 13 - are being diagnosed with STIs in Greater Glasgow.

Eighty girls, aged 15, were forced to seek treatment for chlamydia in 2011, compared to 16 boys. The number of 15-year-olds diagnosed with the infection was 51 in 2012, of those, five were boys.

Health chiefs believe the rate is higher among teenage girls because more young women are coming forward to get tested.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: "We find that more young women attend our sexual health services than young men.

"And as such we would expect to see higher numbers of young women testing positive for STIs than young men.

"If any young person has any concerns about STIs we would encourage them to use the free and confidential support which is available from the Sandyford Service.

"Testing and advice can also be ­accessed at GPs."

Released under Freedom of Information legislation, our figures show more than 450 children were diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis, between 2008 and 2012.

The most common STI diagnosed in ­under-16s was chlamydia. Most of those diagnosed were 15-year-old, but some were as young as 13.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde reported cases of chlamydia in 13-year-olds in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The data, from Government agency Health Protection Scotland, showed the health board also reported cases of syphilis and gonorrhoea in 13-year-olds. The statistics for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde date back to 2008.

In 2010, a small, but unspecified, number of cases of infectious syphilis were found in 13 to 15-year-olds in NHS Greater Glasgow.There have been no reports of syphilis in under-16s since. There were 109 chlamydia diagnoses in 13 to 15-year-olds in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in 2010. Of these, 96 were aged 15, and 13 were 14 years old.

The exact number of 13-year-olds was withheld to protect their identification.

In 2011, there were 115 chlamyida cases.

More than 90 of these patients were 15 years old and around 20 were 14. In 2012, the total was 64, of whom 51 were 15 and around a dozen were 14.

Again, the exact number of 13-year-olds was withheld to stop them being identified.

A small number of gonorrhoea cases were reported in Glasgow, between 2008 and 2012.

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk