Young adults 'should test for chlamydia'

THOUSANDS of young people in Suffolk who could be unknowingly infected with chlamydia are being urged to get tested today.The message comes after a specific screening programme designed to tackle the growing problem of the sexually transmitted infection (sti) revealed 237 of the 2,094 people tested had the infection.

THOUSANDS of young people in Suffolk who could be unknowingly infected with chlamydia are being urged to get tested today.

The message comes after a specific screening programme designed to tackle the growing problem of the sexually transmitted infection (sti) revealed 237 of the 2,094 people tested had the infection.

Now Pam Frost, Suffolk PCT's chlamydia screening co-ordinator, wants even more youngsters to come forward for the check-up and prevent possible future complications if the infection is left untreated.

Mrs Frost said: “We know that it is a problem so we were expecting these figures.


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“They reflect a big picture across the county because most people have no idea they are infected because it is asymptomatic (without symptoms).

“We want to get the message across and hope to have more people screened this year than last.”

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Mrs Frost stressed that the screening programme, which was set up in July 2006, was free for under 25s and involved a completely non-invasive procedure.

If the results are negative they can be sent via a text message and tests can be taken at large number of locations.

Mrs Frost added: “Sexual Health is a priority for the PCT, as we want to reduce the spread and complications due to sexually transmitted infections.

“It has been particularly important to flag up this free service for under 25s, which has already helped several young people and their partners.

“Screening and treating partners is an important aspect of the programme if you are to prevent spread of chlamydia and to date we have seen 67 per cent of partners of patients who tested positive and offered screening and treatment.”

For more information about the screening call 01473 275228 or visit www.amiclear.com.

Has your life been affected by a sexually transmitted infection? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (sti).

Around one in ten young people, aged between 16 and 25, are thought to have the infection.

It is easily treated with antibiotics.

Untreated in women, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause difficulties in getting pregnant. It can also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies.

In men it can lead to painful inflammation of the testicles, which may lead to infertility.

Nationally chlamydia costs the NHS around £100m each year.

Infection rates in the UK are higher than in many other European countries.

SOURCE: NHS

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