A big drive to encourage young people to get tested for Chlamydia is underway in Derby and Derbyshire, to coincide with the start of term for colleges and university.
A team from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust’s Sexual Health Promotion Service and Clinical Sexual Health Service is working in partnership to offer testing to young people, including at Alfreton.
Linda Kiernan, Peer Education Co-ordinator from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust’s Sexual Health Promotion Service, said: “We have an enthusiastic team of peer educators and young volunteers who can talk to young people in their own language.
“The peer educators are working alongside clinical colleagues from the Clinical Sexual Health Service which means that a young person has the opportunity to talk to someone their own age, be tested straightaway, ask questions about a huge variety of sexual health issues and find out more about services in their own area.
This approach has been very successful in helping to reach more young people, especially as we are going out to more venues including markets and parks, as well as the pubs and clubs.”
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with one in 14 young people under 25 in Derbyshire thought to be infected. If left untreated it can lead to problems such as infertility, but it is easily diagnosed and treated with antibiotics.
Young people are asked to “pee in a pot” and the urine samples are then sent away for screening for Chlamydia, with the results often delivered via text message to individuals’ mobile phones. Testing kits are also available online from: www.fancyaquickie.org.uk
“It can be difficult for young people to know where to go for advice about sexual health. By going out and about we can help build up confidence with them and signpost to services,” added Linda.
The sexual health team and peer educators will be out and about at the following places over the next few weeks to offer Chlamydia testing and information about sexual health:
Testing will be taking place in Alfreton on Friday 30th September, during the evening, in local pubs.