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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May 2008, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Holiday incentive for Chlamydia test
Chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK

Young people in the north east of England are being offered the chance to win a holiday if they are willing to take a Chlamydia test.

Health bosses in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear have said the incentive will help them meet national targets.

They want more 16 to 24 year olds to be tested for the STI and are offering to send out results via text message.

The move has prompted concerns from some parents and doctors who say they are not taking the STI seriously.

'Total shock'

One mother who spoke to the BBC was concerned that a text message is no the right way to deliver the news.

She said: "There may be children who get the results back and it is a total shock to them - via a text message.

"It's a big thing for them actually to pick up the phone and speak to somebody."

The aim is really to find and treat the disease in young people by whatever means
Danny Router

Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK.

It can make you infertile and one in ten under 25s in England have it. However, not enough young people are getting tested.

'Significant increase'

So those under the age of 26, living in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, are being offered the chance to win a 2,000 trip as an incentive to take the test.

Newcastle director of public health Danny Routa is behind the idea and is positive about the response so far.

He said: "The aim is really to find and treat the disease in young people by whatever means.

"We've seen a significant increase in the number of people coming forward and taking the test."



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