Winning the fight against STD's

Donna Husband, of NHS Oxfordshire, which offers free tests online for Chlamydia

Donna Husband, of NHS Oxfordshire, which offers free tests online for Chlamydia

First published in News Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

INFECTION rates for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have dropped dramatically in Oxfordshire over the last five years.

The number of people diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV have all dropped since 2007.

But there’s more to be done still, with NHS Oxfordshire recommended people make sure they get tested.

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK, but many people do not know they have got it because at first it is symptomless.

In 2007, Oxfordshire saw 1,141 new cases were reported, but according to the latest figures in 2011 that has dropped to 865.

If left untreated chlamydia can lead to serious long-term problems and cause pain, especially in the abdomen, and may lead to infertility in men or women.

NHS Oxfordshire, the county’s Primary Care Trust, said chlamydia is easily cured.

Donna Husband, health improvement principal for NHS Oxfordshire said the test is quick, easy and the service is completely confidential – you can even order it free online.

She said: “Testing and treatment for chlamydia is particularly easy and you complete the test yourself.GPs, Sexual Health Clinics, Contraception Clinics and other services in Oxfordshire offer free test kits to under 25s as well as providing free condoms.

“Chlamydia tests can also be requested either online or through a text to test service, the kit will arrive at your home and it is posted back to the laboratory for analysis.

“Young people under 18 years are able to get free condoms through the county’s Safety-Card scheme.”

Cases of gonorrhoea have also dropped in the county, despite nationally figures seeing a 25 per cent increase.

Between 2007 and 2011, new cases dropped from 128 to 94.

And new diagnoses of HIV in Oxfordshire is also on the decrease.

In 2007, 71 new cases were discovered. The latest figures reveal the number has dropped to 45.

lDetails about all sexual health services in Oxfordshire, advice on contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections, and how to order chlamydia screening kits is available at yoursexualhealthoxon.nhs.uk

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