That’s the message from Hampshire County Council who are reminding young men and women aged under 25 of the importance of getting tested regularly for chlamydia, as the summer of World Cup football begins.
Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection and around 2-3% of sexually active young adults aged 16 to 24 are known to be infected. It is easily transmitted between partners through unprotected sex and if undetected and untreated it can have serious consequences, including infertility.
Most people with chlamydia will not have any symptoms so it is really important to get tested on a regular basis. Sexually active young men and women under 25 are advised to test at least annually or on each change of sexual partner.
Special ‘Know the Score with Chlamydia’ scratch cards and posters are being distributed across pubs in Hampshire during the World Cup to help young people, especially young men, work out if they have been at risk and need to be tested.
Free chlamydia testing kits can then be picked up from local pharmacies which young people can use at home or they can text SCORE to 66777 to be sent a free self-testing kit by post. The tests are easy to complete and results are usually sent within 2 weeks by text.
If the test result is positive, chlamydia can easily be treated with a short course of antibiotics. All services are free and confidential.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said, “We know that young men in Hampshire are less likely to have been tested for chlamydia than young women. With the excitement of the World Cup, we are using this opportunity to explain the importance of regular testing to sexually active young men and young women and how easy it is get a free testing kit by post or from a local community pharmacy.“