New scheme to identify infection

A NEW text message service has been launched in Suffolk to combat a sexually transmitted infection.

A NEW text message service has been launched in Suffolk to combat a sexually transmitted infection.

The Suffolk Chlamydia screening programme has introduced the mobile-phone based system to encourage more 16 to 24 year olds to take advantage of free Chlamydia home testing kits.

The move is designed to stop the spread of the infection which affects about one in ten young people, and can lead to infertility if not treated.

Last year health bosses in Suffolk failed to reach their target of testing 17 per cent of under 25 year olds, so more work is being done this year.

Pam Frost, service manager sexual health with Suffolk Community Healthcare, said: “This new text service puts home testing within easy reach of the young people that need it.

“Home testing is simple to carry out and is an important part of our screening programme.

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“Our message is simple: get texting and get tested - it's quick, painless and completely confidential.”

Anyone aged 16 to 24 can request a kit by texting the work 'KIT' with their name, full address, age and gender to 84010. The postal kits come with full instructions allowing the test to be carried out at home.

Health experts recommend that people who are sexually active should have one test a year, even if they are in a relationship, or every time they change partners.

The test is a urine sample for men, or self-taken swab for women and results are usually available within seven to ten days and can be sent either by text, e-mail or letter.

For more information call the Suffolk Chlamydia screening office on 01473 275228 or visit www.amiclear.com.

Will the scheme be effective? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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