Appeal parents on Chlamydia tests

PARENTS are being sent details of how their teenage child can get tested for Chlamydia as part of an ongoing drive to reduce the spread of the sexually-transmitted infection.

PARENTS are being sent details of how their teenage child can get tested for Chlamydia as part of an ongoing drive to reduce the spread of the sexually-transmitted infection.

From late June, letters will be sent to the parents and carers of 16 and 17-year-olds living in Norfolk and Waveney.

As well as giving more information about Chlamydia, they will explain why it is so important for teenagers to get checked for the infection and detail how to access a free and painless screening test.

The letters are being sent by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney and NHS Norfolk as part of the sexual health service's ongoing www.areyougettingit.com campaign, which aims to reduce the spread of the infection.


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Andy Mazzei, advanced practitioner for the sexual health promotion unit, said: 'We know about one in 14 of Norfolk and Waveney's young people have Chlamydia. It can be passed from one person to another through sexual touching and not just through full sex, so some people don't realise they are still at risk.

'Even if their child is not sexually active yet, providing this information to parents can still help, as it can be used to help the child make informed choices about sex and ensure they know how to reduce their risk of contracting Chlamydia in the future.'

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Although the letters will be sent to the parents of 16 and 17 year olds, Chlamydia screening services are available to all sexually active adults up to the age of 24. The test, which is completely free and confidential, simply asks for a urine sample, which is then sent for laboratory investigation. The results are sent directly to the individual who has taken the test, and not their parent or carer.

Mr Mazzei added: 'Chlamydia often has no symptoms, so it can be hard for people to know if they are infected. But even if you don't think you have Chlamydia, its worth taking the simple screening test to check.

'Chlamydia can be easily treated with antibiotics, but can lead to more serious problems, such as infertility in later life, if it isn't treated promptly.'

Young people aged between 15 and 24 can order a test online through the Chlamydia website www.areyougettingit.com, texting "screen" to 80010 or by phoning 01603 221830. Callers to the phone line will also be able to find out where to pick up a pack in person, if they wish to.

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