NNUH sexual health experts offer free chlamydia tests

Experts in sexual health at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are urging people under the age of 25 to take a free chlamydia test to prevent any health problems from the UK’s most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Chlamydia is carried by 1 in 14 people under the age of 25. The infection often has no symptoms and is easily treated but left undetected it can lead to serious health problems in men and women, including infertility.

The good news is that there is a self-test kit for chlamydia that is free on the NHS, it’s easy to use, and completely pain less. It just involves picking up a test kit, taking it home, peeing in the pot, filling in the form and packing the sample in the supplied container and posting it off to a laboratory.

Emma McKay, senior nurse in sexual health services at NNUH, said: “Chlamydia is a silent infection that can have serious consequences. Young people sometimes feel too embarrassed to ask for the test but it’s a free test that you can take home and do yourself. It just involves peeing in the sample pot and sending it off to the lab. We’re keen to encourage people to pick up a free test kit from our reception areas at NNUH or order one from us online.

Chlamydia is the fastest growing sexually transmitted infection in the UK. It is a bacterial infection that is easily passed on through having unprotected sexual contact with someone who already has the infection.
· For most people chlamydia has no symptoms, so you probably won't know if you or your partner(s) have it without having a test.

· Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed STI in England and rates are increasing.

· Untreated chlamydia can have serious long term health implications and may lead to infertility (being unable to have children).

· If you are sexually active and under 25 years old, you should be tested for chlamydia annually or when you change your sexual partner.

· If you are under 25 years old you can get a free and confidential chlamydia test.

· Chlamydia is easily tested for and easy to treat – you don’t need to be examined.

· Any form of unprotected sexual contact (without a condom) can put you at risk of catching chlamydia, including oral sex.

If you are sexually active then you can protect yourself by using condoms every time you have sex. This can reduce your risk of getting or passing on chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV.

You can order a free test kit from chlamydia.screening@nnuh.nhs.uk or you can pick up a free test kit at the entrances to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Notes to Editors

Under 25 year olds are most affected by chlamydia (approximately one in 14 tested by the National Chlamydia Screening Programme in 08/09 was found to test positive for chlamydia).

Thursday 19th of August 2010 10:00:52 AM