Sex test results sent by text
YOUNG people in Somerset will soon be sent text messages on their mobile phones to tell them whether they have a sexually transmitted disease or not
YOUNG people in Somerset will soon be sent text messages on their mobile phones to tell them whether they have a sexually transmitted disease or not.Youth clubs across the area are set to start offering home testing kits for chlamydia, with the results being sent via text message. Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) launched the scheme to target 15-24 year olds in addition to providing the usual screening services at GP clinics. PCT clinical leader Kerry McCullough said: "Screenings for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia are already available at GP surgeries across the county, but this new scheme is particularly aimed at those youngsters in their late teens and early 20s because around one in 10 people that age have the disease. "Worryingly, 70 per cent of women who have the disease don't realise they are infected, which is why it is vital that they get tested."The PCT will be encouraging youth clubs in Wedmore and Axbridge as well as colleges throughout Somerset to introduce home testing kits.The kits come with information about the disease. Women use a swab and men provide a urine sample and then give the kits back to the centres they got them from. They are then sent off to be tested at laboratories in Taunton. "People using the tests can choose whether to receive their results via text, email or letter after including their contact details in the sealed kit."Kerry said: "This way of screening is totally anonymous, and as a lot of people know each other in rural villages, it is less embarrassing than getting tested by a nurse. "Some of the youngsters we screen have never even had a smear test or had to undress in front of a doctor so home testing is a lot less stressful for them."In a recent report by the Health Protection Agency the South West had the highest admission rate for pelvic inflammatory disease, one of the effects of chlamydia, in the country. If left untreated it can cause infertility and abdominal pain in women and discharge and burning in men.