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Date: 28 May 2017

Time: 03:54

Umbrella - sexual health services for Birmingham and Solihull

Umbrella targets young people to get tested for chlamydia

Story posted/last updated: 13 February 2017

To combat the hidden nature of chlamydia, Umbrella, the sexual health service for Birmingham and Solihull, is encouraging young people to get tested using "click, test, send".

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) nationally, accounting for 46 per cent of STI diagnoses. The highest rate of infection can be found among the 15 – 24 age group but only 19% of young people in the West Midlands are currently being tested for it.

In the majority of cases people with chlamydia do not exhibit symptoms but it can have serious long-term health implications if it is left untreated. Once diagnosed it can be easily and simply treated.

Dr Meg Boothby, Genito-urinary Medicine Consultant at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), said: “Young people who are sexually active should seriously think about getting tested for chlamydia.

“It’s estimated that around 50% of men and over 70% of women who have chlamydia will have no symptoms, so feeling ok doesn’t mean you don’t have the infection.

“The danger is that people unknowingly carrying it will pass it on to new partners and if it  goes untreated this can then lead to longer-term health problems.”

Supported by a social media campaign with awareness messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Umbrella partner websites, the initiative aims to raise awareness and encourage an increase in the number of people aged 15 – 24 getting tested for chlamydia.

Across Birmingham and Solihull, Umbrella pharmacies and partner community organisations are promoting the scheme by displaying posters encouraging young people to "click, test, send" by ordering a free STI self-sampling kit online. All kits include a test for chlamydia and also test for gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis. For men who have (or have had) sex with other men, a test for hepatitis B is also included.

For further information or to order a free STI self-testing kit, please visit the Umbrella website.

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