Employers urged to offer Chlamydia tests
HEALTH bosses are urging employers to offer free Chlamydia tests to their staff.The tests, which are provided free of charge by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney (NHS GYW) and NHS Norfolk, are being offered to businesses for communal areas so staff can take one, use it and post it back for their result.
HEALTH bosses are urging employers to offer free Chlamydia tests to their staff.
The tests, which are provided free of charge by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney (NHS GYW) and NHS Norfolk, are being offered to businesses for communal areas so staff can take one, use it and post it back for their result.
One in 14 people have Chlamydia, so to curb the spread of the sexually transmitted infection, NHS GYW and NHS Norfolk's Sexual Health Promotion Unit is keen for large employers to sign up to the scheme.
The push is part of the www.areyougettingit.com campaign to reduce the number of people in Norfolk and Waveney who have Chlamydia.
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Andy Mazzei, advanced practitioner for the sexual health promotion unit, said: 'We really need businesses to make these kits available for their staff. We know employers are keen to look after their workforce and their workforce's health, which includes their sexual health.
'Chlamydia is a growing issue and we want employers to show they value their staff by offering these kits.
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'It costs them nothing - but could save them time from possible doctors' appointments in the future - especially if it ends up involving several of their staff.'
The tests will be given to the business in cardboard holders so no extra tables are needed. Each test includes the information on how to do it and where you need to send it.
The results are strictly confidential and sent directly back to that individual. No one will know where the test was picked up from.
Mr Mazzei added: 'We can supply test kits in large holders we call pick-up-points so they are stand alone and can be put in any areas. We can supply small tabletop or larger ones that are waist height.
'We are really keen for young employees up to the age of 24 to take the test, which is really easy to use. All you have to do is wee into a pot, take a little sample and send it back to us.
'Even if you haven't had sex you can pass on the infection through sexual touching and it can make you infertile in the future.'
Youngsters from 15 to 24-years-old 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 how to pick up a pack in person, if they wish to.
Neil Kittle, sexual health promotion practitioner for the sexual health promotion unit, added: 'Chlamydia often goes undetected because of a lack of symptoms associated with the infection. It has also been linked to a condition known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which can cause infertility.
'Although your fertility may be the last thing you're worried about now, it may become a really big problem in the future when you want to have children. Especially as it is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK today and we know that about 70pc of young women and 50pc of young men do not have any symptoms.
'The test is a great way to put your mind at rest.'