Monday, 15 June 2009

Chlamydia Screening - national online testing is a clear gap

On Friday the Health Protection Agency published statistics on chlamydia screening figures across England. The latest figures show significant progress and an increase in the numbers of young people being tested, and we still have a long way to go.

National programmes inevitably take time to get going as the systems and structures are put in place on the ground. I am sure we will continue to see an increase in the numbers of young people being tested this year. There is however a gap and a challenge for us in the year ahead if government and partner agencies such as Brook and Terence Higgins Trust are to detect and treat the infection within the population to get chlamydia under control, particularly encouraging those who will not access mainstream services to get tested.

Across the country there are many different brands for local and regional chlamydia screening programmes. Young people frequently phone Ask Brook, our information service for young people. They tell us that they don't want to go to a clinic and would prefer to request a test on line which they then receive in the post. They often phone us when they have had difficulty finding out whether they can access a free test on line and how to get it.

A national online service, backed up with a national campaign could fill the gap and are calling on government to consider this as a serious option that will both increase value for money and effectiveness. Without this we risk many young people, perhaps particularly young men, not getting screened and when necessary treated.

17 comments:

Millie said...

I asked my new doctor for a test when I first registered (they screen 16-24s for free), that was 3 weeks ago, and they still haven't got back to me!

JJ said...

There is already a service which clearly fills this gap - I've used it! freetest.me! And ive passed it onto my school and uni friends because it's great... JJ

Simon Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon Blake said...

JJ - I am glad you have found freetest.me, that it has been useful and you have passed details onto your friends. It is a very good service. However, what it doesn't do is provide one free national service backed up with a national campaign so all young people in England know where to go.

It signposts people to free postal testing in their area where one exists, and provides information about services in their local area. We need a high quality national service so all young people can access it free of charge.

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Arleen said...
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Arleen said...

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Kathy R. said...

It differs with the type of screening...blood tests usually take 2-3 days while vaginal cultures have to be grown in the lab and usually take 4 days to a week.
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