HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust is to hold a free chlamydia testing event in Telford Shopping Centre on Saturday March 24th in a bid to promote good sexual health among 16-24 year olds across the region.

From 9.00am to 5.00pm, Terrence Higgins Trust staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide information and advice about the sexually transmitted infection (STI) chlamydia and will offer chlamydia tests to those aged between 16-24. The test is free, simple and confidential – men will be asked to give a urine sample and women either a urine sample or self-administered swab. Samples will be sent off to the lab, with the results available in one week. The Terrence Higgins Trust team also has a range of goodies for those tested, including free condoms, key rings and glow sticks.

The testing drive is being funded by NHS Telford and Wrekin as part of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme, which aims to combat the spread of chlamydia by increasing testing rates amongst the young.

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed STI in the UK, with an estimated 1 in 14 people aged between 16-24 having undiagnosed chlamydia. For most people the infection has little or no symptoms and, left untreated, it can lead to serious long term health problems, including infertility.

Lotte Hakeman, Senior Practitioner at Terrence Higgins Trust in Telford said: “Despite growing awareness about STIs, some young people are still reluctant to be tested, and are worried about what the test involves. We want to show them just how simple and easy the chlamydia test is, and equip young people in Shropshire and Telford with better knowledge which will help them maintain good sexual health. We are grateful to Telford Shopping Centre for giving us the opportunity to spread this important message.”

The 24th March event also takes place on World TB Day, which aims to maximise awareness about tuberculosis (TB). Terrence Higgins Trust staff will also provide information about TB, including common symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

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