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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 January 2006, 17:11 GMT
Chlamydia test kits 'a success'
Chlamydia cells
Chlamydia affects 10% of young sexually active people
More than 6,000 chlamydia testing kits have been handed out by Boots pharmacies across London in the first month of a pilot scheme.

The trial was launched last November to try to encourage more young people to be screened for what is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the UK.

The Department of Health figures showed 6,387 free kits were handed out to 16 to 24-year-olds in one month.

Steve Churton from Boots said he was delighted with the initial response.

'Over-the-counter service'

Chlamydia affects 10% of sexually active young men and women and it is thought Boots' over-the-counter service could reach as many as 50,000 young Londoners over a period of a year.

About 200 London pharmacies are taking place in the trial, which is part of a wider chlamydia screening programme being rolled out across England.

Already, as a result of that programme more than 78,000 people have been screened - 8,000 of whom tested positive.

At the launch of the trial, Health Minister Caroline Flint said: "By making this free service available in pharmacies on the high street, it will make it easier for people to call in for a screening test - helping to speed up both the detection and treatment of chlamydia cases."

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