Charity asks Lincolnshire venues to get behind its chlamydia screening programme
HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust is calling on venue owners and employers in Lincolnshire to open their doors to the charity’s mobile chlamydia screening programme. The initiative, which takes testing for the sexually transmitted infection out of sexual health clinics and into pubs, clubs and leisure centres, aims to reduce the number of undetected infections among young people locally.
In 2011, more than 15,000 people were diagnosed with chlamydia in the East Midlands. 84 per cent of those diagnosed were aged between 15 and 24. With few or no symptoms, many people with chlamydia don’t even know they have it.
Since Terrence Higgins Trust joined NHS Lincolnshire’s screening programme in November 2009, the charity has screened more than 20,000 young people in the county. To reach even more young people and drive down infections, the charity is asking more venues to allow the charity’s trained staff to carry out testing on their premises.
Commissioned by NHS Lincolnshire, the service is free and requires venues to provide only a small area for a table, from which friendly staff can distribute information leaflets and chlamydia testing kits. The test works by donation of a urine sample for men or a self-administered swab for women and results are received by text message within two weeks. Anyone who tests positive is provided with antibiotics, as well as support and advice.
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 email@example.com.