Don't give your Valentine a nasty surprise
Young people in East Devon are being urged not to give their partner the gift of Chlamydia this Valentine s Day.
Young people in East Devon are being urged not to give their partner the gift of Chlamydia this Valentine's Day.
NHS Devon's director of public health has issued the plea as it emerged two in three people under 25 don't use a condom when they have sex with a new partner for the first time.
The shocking statistics come from a Department of Health survey which also revealed nine in ten young people don't get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI) before starting a new relationship, leaving themselves and their partner at risk.
In a bid to make more people aware of the consequences of leaving Chlamydia untreated, NHS Devon has designated 14-28 February as Chlamydia fortnight.
Public health bosses will be working with GPs, pharmacists and minor injury unit nurses to raise awareness of Chlamydia and increase the number of young people tested.
Dr Virginia Pearson, director of public health for NHS Devon, said: "One in 12 people between 15-24 years old test positive for Chlamydia.
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"Chlamydia is a potentially serious sexually transmitted infection and it can lead to infertility. However it can be easily detected and treatment usually involves a simple course of antibiotics.
"But it is called the silent disease as there are no symptoms and people may not know they have it.
"So my advice is to get a test now and make sure you don't give your loved one Chlamydia for Valentine's Day."
Young people can also get a Chlamydia self-test postal kit by going to www.checkinitout.co.uk