Putting Chlamydia to the test!
Recent data shows that efforts to raise awareness of Chlamydia in Bracknell Forest are working well.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK, particularly affecting men and women under 25. Most people who have chlamydia will have no symptoms, and without a test you will probably not know anything is wrong. Chlamydia can usually be treated and cured with antibiotics, but if it's not treated, the infection can cause health problems (including infertility and long term pelvic pain). For more info visit http://www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/ys/bigdeal.html
The key message is that if you are sexually active and under 25 you should be tested for chlamydia annually, and whenever you change your sexual partner.
Recent figures show a big rise in the proportion of the target population (15 to 25 year olds) being tested in Bracknell Forest. The data from Public Health England shows that in 2012 we only had 11.6% of the target population having a test, but in 2013 we had 19.4% being tested. The actual rate of infection among those tested has not changed significantly.
This increase in the uptake of testing is the highest in the Thames Valley. It has been achieved through a number of initiatives, including expanding the range of places and options for getting tested. People in Bracknell Forest can get advice and testing from a range of venues, including GP Surgeries, Pharmacists and Youth Service Clinics. A list of the venues can be found at http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/sexualhealth
Every GP surgery is now a Pick up Pac ("PUP") point, which means that a young person can pick up a Chlamydia (and Gonorrhoea) self-test kit. You can also order a free chlamydia testing kit online, in confidence, from the Berkshire Chlamydia Screening Programme (www.getyourkitoff.co.uk). You can also enter your postcode to find out the location of your nearest Pick up Pac Point. Alternatively just text KIT to 82727.