Rise in STI testing for 30-somethings

17 April 2010, 09:57

Heart's been told more people in their thirties are going for chlamydia tests at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

Despite many people thinking chlamydia is just something teenagers get, over the last five years, the figures show a steady rise in people aged 30-39 choosing to be screened for the STI.

In 2009, 5386 patients were seen, which is over a thousand more than in 2005.

Doctor Alan Tang is a consultant physician at the Royal Berkshire Hospital's sexual health clinic.

He says although teenagers are often targeted to get checked out, the risk of infection doesn't go away as you get older:

"People in their thirties should definitely take chlamydia seriously. Unfortunately chlamydia does not choose the age of the person it infects. We know that people in this age group are just as sexually active as people who are younger. They may be in a more stable relationship, but that doesn't apply to everyone. So chlamydia is still a possibility.

"People in their thirties should not be excluded, therefore I'm really happy to see we've got over five thousand people in that age group coming forward for testing the past year."

Doctor Tang also told Heart the side effects of chlamydia can cause big problems as you go to start a family:

"The complications of chlamydia can be fairly serious, including infertility and the dangerous condition of ectopic pregnancy. Certainly if it's detected before symptoms start, it's better."