Chlamydia Screening Gets Sports Backing

NHS Bedfordshire are trying to get a quarter of all young people in the county tested for chlamydia.

And to help them hit that target, they've teamed up with local sports clubs including AFC Kempston.  The team is now calling on other sports teams or local groups to get involved.

Approximately 1 in 14 people under 25 are infected with Chlamydia and many don’t know they have it, which is why it is important to get screened regularly as part of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Sue Burridge, Senior Health Improvement Specialist, said: "We are so pleased to be working in partnership with AFC Kempston on this campaign and welcome other sports teams or any other local groups to contact us if they would like us to come and talk to them about sexual health and Chlamydia screening."

Of course, you don’t have to be in a sports team or local club to get screened and NHS Bedfordshire has written to 30,000 people aged 18 – 24 inviting them to be screened.

The screening team has also been visiting schools, colleges and night clubs and has screened more than 7,000 people since April 2009.

To help promote Chlamydia screening, NHS Bedfordshire launched a bus advertising campaign.  It highlights the fact that Chlamydia is often invisible and encourages young people to text the number or visit the website to request the test (which doesn’t involve probing or poking!).

Chlamydia facts

Chlamydia affects approximately 1 in 14 people aged 15 to 24, however many do not know they have it because it often shows no symptoms;
It is easily treated with a one off dose of antibiotics;
If left untreated it can affect future fertility in men and women;
The Department of Health screening target has increased from 17% last year to 25% this year and 35% from April 2010. To achieve this target NHS Bedfordshire is looking at innovative ways to promote the screening programme and to make getting screened as easy and convenient as possible. 

The test

The confidential screening is a simple pee in a pot test. It is non-invasive and pain free (we are trying to really push this message because people think it involves some invasive and embarrassing procedure!) and testing kits can be obtained from a variety of places:

  • Local sexual health clinics (to find the nearest sexual health clinic visit www.under-cover.org.uk).
  • GP surgeries
  • Local Children’s Centre
  • By asking your midwife or health visitor
  • By logging on to www.under-cover.org.uk
  • By texting the word: TEST 1, followed by your name and address to 07781 47 29 81 and a testing kit will be sent to your address.

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