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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008
Chlamydia tests offered in pubs

By Liz Dunkerley
Newsbeat reporter

Ally Haviland, 22
Ally Haviland, 22, thinks the testing kits are a good idea

Pub and club-goers are being offered Chlamydia home test kits in an effort to get more under-25s tested.

The trial is being offered in three areas in London - central Ealing, Southall and Greenford.

If it is successful it will be rolled out across the UK.

The kits are in pub toilets, in dispensers like you get newspapers from in the street.

They contain a leaflet on Chlamydia, a form to fill in your personal details, a plastic 'pee pot' for the sample, and a freepost envelope.

You can choose whether to get your results by letter, text or through your GP.

Debbie Green, who leads the screening programmes, said: "In young people who are under-25, there's a higher rate of it. One in 10 are testing positive."

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

In the UK, Chlamydia is now the most commonly diagnosed STI.

50% of men and 70% of women who have the infection get no symptoms at all.

Many other symptoms go unnoticed.

Debbie said: "You may not know you have it, and it's not until it has spread further up from the genital tract, up into the body, that it can do the damage and cause infertility."

Ealing Primary Care Trust is hoping to get 15% of young people screened.

So far only three to 5% are getting tested.

But what about getting it out of the pub discreetly in your handbag?

One girl said: "I really don't think it's going to catch on at all. The packaging is far too big and it's not going to fit into my little bag."

Ally Haviland, 22, took one of the kits while in the loo: "I was meaning to go to the clinic, so I'm definitely going to give it a try.

"It seems pretty straightforward. There's a pot thing and some instructions. It always seems such a mission to go to the hospital."

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