Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Screening Message That Really Rocked; an Attempt to Set a Record for the Most Chalmydia Screening Amongst Youngsters Has Been Achieved. Helath Reporter HELEN RAE Has More Detais

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Screening Message That Really Rocked; an Attempt to Set a Record for the Most Chalmydia Screening Amongst Youngsters Has Been Achieved. Helath Reporter HELEN RAE Has More Detais

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

ABID to set an NHS record to screen thousands of young people for chlamydia at the North East's biggest music festival has been a success.

Over two days more than 2,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 took a chlamydia test at this year's Evolution festival making the record bid a triumph.

The attempt to get as many young people attending the festival as possible screened for the serious sexually transmitted infection was carried out by the region's NHS chlamydia screening programmes with the help of 50 'peer educators' - young people specially trained to perform the test..

More than 60,000 young people attended the festival in NewcastleGateshead over the Bank Holiday weekend which was headlined by Dizzee Rascal.

Revellers were given the opportunity to take a quick urine test in special 'posh loos' which will be screened for the infection.

Approximately one in 10 young people under 25 are thought to have the infection - often with no symptoms. The NHS has targets to test over 25% of all young people aged 15-24 for the infection which if left untreated can cause infertility in both men and women.

The record attempt is part of an ongoing campaign to get as many young people as possible tested. Chlamydia peer advisors have attended club nights, youth events and university campuses encouraging young people to take the simple 'pee in the pot' test and last year a TV advert was shown across the region featuring local young people.

Because chlamydia often has no symptoms changing perceptions about the severity of the infection and the importance of getting tested - for both young men and women - is a key priority for the NHS.

Michelle Stamp, programme manager for the Northumberland Tyne and Wear screening service said: "By targeting places where young people visit, and using marketing techniques that young people respond to, we're trying to get young people to see that taking a Chlamydia test is an important and normal part of looking after their own sexual health. …

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