Sexual Health Groups Demand Screening

The Birmingham Post (England), August 4, 2003 | Go to article overview

Sexual Health Groups Demand Screening


A nationwide screening programme for Britain's most common sexually-transmitted infection must be implemented to prevent its spread, sexual health groups have demanded.

Backed by Brook in Birmingham, the call to the Government to introduce chlamydia screening has been issued at the start of Sexual Health Week today.

The Family Planning Association (FPA) which has produced a report on the disease, said testing women under the age of 25 for the 'silent infection', was vital.

Brook, which provides free and confidential contraceptive counselling and training services to the 35,000 youngsters who visit it each year, has the facilities to screen young people for the STI.

But it does not have the funding to pay for the laboratory tests.

Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs which affects men and women.

It shows no symptoms in 70 per cent of women and 50 per cent of men and if it goes unchecked can cause infertility.

Penny Barber, chief executive of the Birmingham clinic, said a lack of cash at the primary care trusts across the West Midlands meant Brook had not received its usual level of funding this year.

'We hope that the pressure of this report and the introduction of a National Service Framework for sexual health will result in this vital public health issue being prioritised in national and local budgets,' she said. …

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