Press Article16/12/2009

Party-goers warned of chlamydia

Christmas party-goers have been told to be aware of their sexual health, with experts predicting the number of chlamydia cases is set to rise.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) has launched its campaign after research revealed more people have unprotected sex in December than in any other month.

This is fuelled by the large quantities of alcohol consumed at Christmas parties, where one in six young people admit to drinking three times more than usual.

An additional concern highlighted by RPSGB is that only 15.9% of 15 to 24-year-olds chose to have a chlamydia test when offered last year. This is despite an increasing number of young people being tested.

People under 25, who are in the highest risk group for chlamydia, can get free tests from many pharmacies, but more than half did not know about the service, research found.

RPSGB campaign spokesperon, community pharmacist Paul Johnson, says: "Community pharmacies are well equipped to deliver this service because they are easily accessible to young people and pharmacists are trusted healthcare professionals.

"Unfortunately chlamydia is one of the UK's most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and if left untreated it can cause infertility. Although young people have said they would use a pharmacy for screening, the free service is quite new and there are still many who are not aware it exists."

In 75% of women and 50% of men, chlamydia has no symptoms. Those that do develop signs may not get them until several months after infection.

Copyright © Press Association 2009


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