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Kit yourself out and get yourself tested

PUBLISHED: 10:39 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:33 01 August 2010

YOUNG people are being encouraged to take care of their own sexual health by getting tested for a serious sexually-transmitted disease online.

A campaign is launched this week to have 15 to 24-year-olds in Norfolk and Waveney tested for chlamydia, with free kits being made available over the internet.

YOUNG people are being encouraged to take care of their own sexual health by getting tested for a serious sexually-transmitted disease online.

A campaign is launched this week to have 15 to 24-year-olds in Norfolk and Waveney tested for chlamydia, with free kits being made available over the internet.

NHS Norfolk and NHS Great Yar-mouth and Waveney have launched a website for the 116,000 people in this age range at risk of contracting the disease in their areas.

Julie Hughes, NHS Norfolk's sexual health commissioning manager, said it was important that as many sexually-active young people as possible took the test.

“Chlamydia needs to be discovered and treated early,” she said. “It can lead to a condition known as pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility in women.

“Everyone - young men and women between the age of 15 and 24 - needs to get hold of one of these kits, because chlamydia often does not show any symptoms.

“If we can detect it early enough, it can usually be treated with one dose of antibiotics.”

As an incentive, the first 1,000 young people to order a kit through the site - www.areyougettingit.com - and return a sample will receive a £5 shopping voucher.

Test kits can also be ordered by texting “screen” to 80010 or by telephoning 01603 221830. Callers to the phone line will also be able to find out how to pick up a pack in person, if they so wish.

Once a test has been received all that is required is a simple urine test.

Chlamydia is the most common sexually-transmitted infection in the UK today and about seven in 10 young men and half of young women will not have any symptoms.

People do not need to have had lots of partners to contract it and do not need to have full sex for it to be transmitted.

The health service aims to ensure that at least a quarter of young people in the target age group take tests: about 23,000 for NHS Norfolk and 6,300 for NHS Yarmouth and Waveney.

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