The only way is up

We have heard recently that the number of young people receiving A-C grades in their A-Levels has increased and another statistic that has increased in recent years is that of young people taking up testing for sexual transmitted infections.

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A survey took place in South London in 2017 which looked at just over 2000 young people aged – years old and found that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young people taking up the opportunity to be tested for STI’s and many of these opting for home testing kits. This survey found that 50 percent took up the offer of home testing compared to 26.6 percent who took up the offer of a clinic-based appointment.

This is encouraging news as the age group most likely to develop an infection is that of 15-25 year olds. In 2016, nearly six out of every ten case of chlamydia and gonorrhoea diagnoses were in this age bracket. This age range is the time during which peer pressure, hormones and embarrassment can cause young people to be less inclined to attend a clinic for testing. So it is unsurprising that it is in this group that the uptake of testing has more than doubled as a result of the introduction of regional and London Home STI kits like those available from

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Perhaps though we should not be too surprised. The introducing of the home kit is a good way to ensure that 15 to 25 years olds can conduct a test without having to contact the local GP or be submitted to for blood test and not be faced with a huge amount of focus and attention on them before the results. It is easy for us to forget as adults that this is not and easy age to be at and the constant focus on the protection for sexual disease whilst earnest while and important can result in a degree of overkill that this age group will not respond well to.

The next stage of these tests is that hopefully the age group will not ignore what the results are if they should be a test for positive as the long-term effects of disease such as chlamydia should not be ignored. In women it can cause an inflammation of the fallopian tubes resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease that leads ultimately to infertility. For men it also carries the danger of reaching the testicles and sterility follows. Let us hope these kits bring us a step forward to avoiding those scenarios.