Young people to receive kits and letters in postal campaign.
One in twelve sexually active young people aged under the age of 25 test positive for Chlamydia making it one of the most common sexually transmitted infections.
In a bid to raise awareness, reduce infection rates and encourage young people to take a simple test, NHS South East Essex has begun posting 24,000 Chlamydia kits to young people aged 18 – 24 across the local area. In addition, 5,000 young people aged 22-24 years olds will receive a letter inviting them to visit a bespoke website www.freetest.me.uk to find out more information about why it’s important to get tested.
Dr Andrea Atherton, Director of Public Health at NHS South East Essex said:
“I hope young people who receive the kit will use it. The benefits of taking this quick simple test far outweigh the risk of having an untreated infection which can cause chronic pain and may lead to infertility
The kits are discreet, easy to use and involve a taking a simple painless test. Even if the results are positive, the good news is prompt effective treatment with a course of antibiotics will soon clear things up.”
The postal Chlamydia testing kits are specific for males and females and will be posted out in discreet packaging. Both male and female kits contain clear, detailed instructions, laboratory contact information and details of local NHS sexual health services.
Young people in south east Essex can also get a free self testing kit by texting the word ‘KIT’ followed by their name, age and address to 80010
or by going to www.ruclear.nhs.uk”
The postal campaign is part of an ongoing NHS Chlamydia screening programme which also includes a number of other activities to encourage young people to take a free test, if offer. Details of further events and activities will be announced over the coming year.