A report published by Public Health England (PHE) claims that STIs being diagnosed are up 5% in England.
The data shows that 450,000 STIs were diagnosed in the UK last year. PHE’s report shows three key points about STIs in England:
- that the increase in STIs being diagnosed is due to an increased availability of screening;
- practicing safe-sex and getting tested regularly is essential;
- and keeping the Chlamydia screening programme available and open, especially for under 25s, is important for the future treatment of STIs.
In short checking your sexual health by using services such as freetest.me's free chlamydia tests
helps underpin and implement PHE's recommendations on STIs and that today there is an even greater need to get tested for Chlamydia.
Dr Gwenda Hughes, PHE head of STI surveillance, explains how the increase in diagnosing Chlamydia is due to the general increase in testing for STIs in England:
"There have been significant improvements in screening in recent years, particularly for gonorrhoea and chlamydia among young adults and men who have sex with men, so we are diagnosing and treating more infections than ever before."
Freetest.me's free Chlamydia testing service is part of this trend: we have had an increase in the volume of people being tested over the past four years:
We now have 1000s of visitors come to the freetest.me website every week looking for a Chlamydia test from all across the country and we are proud to be contributing to the relative success of testing, diagnosing and treating more cases of Chlamydia than ever before in England.
Dr Gwenda Hughes also explains how the data highlights the need for safe-sex and regular testing for the most at risk group of under 25s who provide almost 64% of all Chlamydia positive test results:
"However, these data show too many people are continuing to have unsafe sex, put themselves at risk of STIs and the serious consequences associated with infection, including infertility."
Freetest.me thoroughly supports PHE's health recommendations that to significantly reduce your risk of contracting Chlamydia you should:
- be screened for chlamydia every year, and on change of sexual partner.
- always using a condom when having sex with casual and new partners.
We strongly encourage anybody under 25 to practice safe-sex and to get tested for Chlamydia and other STIs regularly.
PHE's report highlights the importance of keeping the availability of Chlamydia testing, due to its success, as open as possible and states that "local authorities should continue to integrate chlamydia screening into broader health services".
This is conclusive with our own research that shows 90% of our visitors say that if they can't request a test from us, they "probably won't bother to get tested".
Keeping postal screening services available and free for young people is important, but it's also critical to provide a streamlined service that young people. This is something that freetest.me have developed over the last 4 years - our website is well promoted, our order process is simple and our kits easy to use - all backed up with a state-of-the-art laboratory facility.
All this data and news coverage boils down to one simple message: if you are under 25 you are at a greatly increased risk of contracting Chlamydia - take precautions and get tested!
There's really no excuse not to take responsibility over your own sexual health - simply log on to freetest.me, enter your details and you will be posted a Chlamydia test kit.
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