Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Time for Freshers Week Fun but Will Our Students Be Risking Fertility? Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains How Students Are Being Urged to Take Care of Their Sexual Health as They Prepare for Freshers Week

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Time for Freshers Week Fun but Will Our Students Be Risking Fertility? Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains How Students Are Being Urged to Take Care of Their Sexual Health as They Prepare for Freshers Week

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

WITH at least one in 13 sexually active people under the age of 25 having chlamydia, it is important to stop the most common bacteria sexually transmitted infection before it starts.

Being easy to test and easy to treat, getting rid of chlamydia couldn''t be simpler.

If left untreated, chlamydia sometimes leads to pelvic inflammatory disease and can leave both men and women infertile. However, it can easily be treated with a free short course of antibiotics.

Caroline Allsop, chlamydia screening health adviser from Newcastle Hospitals Community Health, said: "Screening for chlamydia is so simple to do, we just want to make sure that students are familiar with how they get tested in Newcastle.

"Freshers Week is an ideal time to raise awareness about chlamydia and offer young people the opportunity to have a free and confidential test."

Members from the chlamydia screening team, including sexual health advisers and peer educators, are going out to freshers fairs and events this month and next at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, offering students testing kits and giving out information about the service.

Caroline added: "Our message to sexually active young people under 25 is to choose to take a chlamydia test.

"All you have to do is pee in a pot and return it to the screening office by post.

"The service will inform you of your results via your preferred method, normally by text, phone call or letter, usually within seven days.

"If your result is positive then a health adviser will contact you to arrange an appointment for treatment which is a short course of antibiotics."

Dr Diana Mansour, consultant in community gynaecology for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Any form of unprotected sex can put you at risk of catching chlamydia, including oral sex. This is why it is so important that people continue to get tested and treated.

"Chlamydia is renowned for being a silent infection as it often goes unnoticed without any real symptoms but if left untreated can cause significant damage.

"Besides receiving treatment, the next most important step is that current and recent sexual partners should be treated to prevent re-infection."

Director of public health for Newcastle Primary Care Trust Dr Meng Khaw added: "I would encourage all young people aged 15 to 24 who are sexually active to take a proactive interest in their sexual health by taking up the offer of a free and simple test.

"It''s perfectly normal to take the test and it''s quick, easy, painless, free and confidential. Earlier detection of the disease could also prevent any serious symptoms developing in the future as well as preventing any further spread.

"Chlamydia is the commonest sexually transmitted infection among young people. It often doesn''t show any symptoms, therefore many people who are infected don''t know they''ve got it. …

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