A unique new service, enabling young people to access a free online chlamydia testing has been launched today at www.freetest.me.uk.
Freetest.me has been launched to overcome a gap in the current National Chlamydia Screening Programme, namely online delivery.
Young people routinely use the internet in their daily lives, to order goods and services. However, until today there has been a 'disconnect' between how young people would prefer to receive a test, and what they have been offered.
Research conducted on Facebook showed that more than 70% of young people would prefer the convenience of ordering a free Chlamydia test online, and to avoid a potentially embarrassing visit to a sexual health clinic or chemist. However, due to an NHS "postcode lottery", in practice less than 25% were able to easily order a free Chlamydia test online.
This "disconnection" of demand versus supply is made worse when it's set against the backdrop that more than 1 in 10 young people are infected with chlamydia - and with increasingly soaring epidemic levels. Unfortunately, chlamydia often has no symptoms, and if left untreated can lead to infertility for both males and females. Freetest.me has been developed to overcome this frustration, and to meet this demand.
Young people go online to www.freetest.me.uk; request a chlamydia test, and choose how they would like to receive their results – by SMS text, email or online results tracking - all in complete confidence. The tests are paid for by participating NHS trusts, and are completely free to young people. For the NHS, the freetest.me service is very cost-effective, and saves valuable time.
Neil Cooper, Managing Director of Preventx, the company behind freetest.me commented: "We believe our comprehensive online service is a world first - only last week The King's Fund Think Tank explained how the NHS is 'failing to use everyday technologies such as email and the internet', precisely the vision we have already implemented. For freetest.me, this felt like a 'Blue Peter' moment!"