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Bold campaign to tackle STI's in North Yorkshire.

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5:47am 22nd November 2010

A striking new campaign is being launched this week to encourage North Yorkshire and York's sexually active under 25s to take a 'pee in the pot' chlamydia test.   

The campaign has been designed around research highlighting a number of barriers deterring young people from getting tested - ranging from general embarrassment to casual attitudes toward sexual transmitted infections.

Viginia Smith, Sexual Health Matron for YorScreen who provides chlamydia screening services across the county, said:

"Despite an annual increase in screening rates, our research shows that a number of young people in the area are still not aware of the importance of taking regular chlamydia tests or indeed where to get hold of a test. We now have a range of options for requesting a testing kit, including online and text message. Whichever way you choose, all you need to do is provide a urine sample.

"We appreciate we're taking a pretty brave approach with this campaign but we, along with the young people who have helped inform the campaign, are confident that it will strike a chord with young people. We appreciate they have a lot on their plates, so promoting the ease of getting tested is a powerful message to get across."

The campaign is being delivered through eye-catching posters and giveaways which encourage people to visit an interactive Facebook page. Here they can find out about chlamydia, request a home testing kit and share their experiences with others.

Katie Needham, Consultant in Public Health and sexual health lead for NHS North Yorkshire and York, said:

"We appreciate that lots of young people are already aware of what chlamydia is so we needed to take a different approach with this campaign. Obviously there's a time and place for the materials we have produced and that's why we're only using them in venues where there is no risk of them offending anyone.

"As well as running this campaign, we are also working with local clinicians to support them in proactively offering tests to their under 25 patients. By taking this two-pronged approach we hope to make a significant improvement to the sexual health of young people in the area.

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