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More Young People in Portsmouth are Being Tested for Chlamydia

More Young People in Portsmouth are Being Tested for Chlamydia

More young people in Portsmouth than ever are taking responsibility for their sexual health by testing for Chlamydia according to the Portsmouth NHS Trust.

In 2010, 40.4% of young people in city took the test and Portsmouth now ranks third in the country for the number of young people getting tested.

"This show young people are ready to take responsibility for their sexual health," said Kerry Pearson, Commissioning Manager from NHS Portsmouth. "We're delighted that the local Chlamydia screening programme is so successful in getting young people to check for this infection, as it is an introduction into the full range of sexual health and contraception services to help them protect themselves."

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in men and women between 15 and 24. It can be prevented with condoms, but many young people do not practice safe sex consistently and so are at risk of having the infection. As Chlamydia often has no symptoms, a test can be the only way to find out if you have it.

"Chlamydia is known as the silent STI. If undetected and untreated you are not only risking passing Chlamydia on, your own health is at risk too. Chlamydia can cause infertility, arthritis and pain. If your test shows you do have Chlamydia it can be treated easily with antibiotics, before long term problems set in," added Kerry.

Despite the increase in testing this year rates of infection are starting to fall across the country. Primary Care Trusts which currently manage local healthcare had to ensure least 35% of 15-24 year olds are tested for Chlamydia each year, in hope of reducing the number of young people who become infected.

Most Chlamydia tests in Portsmouth are provided by Solent NHS Trust, which runs the Ella Gordon unit at St Mary's Hospital. Throughout the year the team have been promoting awareness of the infection at roadshows and making the test easily accessible in a range of venues including nightclubs and colleges.

This year the service was awarded a You're Welcome accreditation, for delivering services that meet the needs of young people.

Ben Dowling, Chair of Portsmouth's Youth Parliament said:"It's great that so many young people have the opportunity to be tested for Chlamydia, it shows young people taking control of their lives and respecting their own wellbeing. When given the You're Welcome accreditation by the Check It Out young people's health group, the Ella Gordon Unit was described as friendly and approachable with staff who take you through step by step." 

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