HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust is calling on more venue owners and employers in Lincolnshire to get involved with a local chlamydia screening programme to help reduce the number of undetected infections amongst local young people.
Since Terrence Higgins Trust began work on the project in November 2009, over 16,000 young people have been screened for the sexually transmitted infection (STI) chlamydia in pubs, clubs and other venues across the county. Now to boost the number of young people the project reaches, the charity is asking more local venues to allow staff on-site access to help improve the sexual health of young people in the area.
Commissioned by NHS Lincolnshire, the service is free and only requires a small area for a table to be set up with information leaflets and chlamydia testing kits to be handed out by friendly staff and volunteers. Men are asked to give a urine sample, while women take a self-administered swab with results provided by text message within two weeks. Those who test positive are provided with a course of antibiotics as well as support and advice.
Chlamydia is the most common STI in people aged 16-24 but with few or no symptoms, most people with the infection don’t know they have it. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to severe health problems, including infertility.
Mick Mason, Regional Manager for Terrence Higgins Trust in the Midlands, said: “Our outreach work is very important, as chlamydia is a serious infection which is easy to pass on. As many as one in 14 under 25s have undiagnosed chlamydia, so it is a serious issue.
“The test our outreach teams use is quick and easy and doesn’t involve a visit to a clinic, which can often put young people off. The service also helps promote awareness among local young people of how important it is to take care of your sexual health. We hope to continue the success of this project and, with the help of local venues, have a real impact on undiagnosed chlamydia in Lincolnshire.”
Venues interested in taking part in this project should contact Vicki Corcoran at Terrence Higgins Trust on 07787 404873, or email firstname.lastname@example.org