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Networking site offering STI tests

Social networking sites Facebook and Bebo are offering teenagers free chlamydia tests and sex education in conjunction with a local health trust.

Bournemouth and Poole Teaching Primary Care Trust is posting banners in a bid to connect the area's teenagers with sexual health and relationship education.

The adverts link to the trust's F-risky website which offers free postal chlamydia testing kits and advice on contraception, pregnancy and STIs.

Sue Meakin, sexual health manager at the trust, said one in 10 young people aged 15 to 24 test positive for chlamydia both nationally and locally.

"We have to move with the times," she said. "We are using Facebook and Bebo to drawn them in. It's the medium they are using and we have to be current. We have to go to young people, we cannot sit back in clinics waiting for people to come to us."

Once young people are diverted to the F-risky website they are offered advice on contraception, pregnancy and STIs by email, text or phone.

They can also get free postal chlamydia testing kits and negative results can be sent by text.

"Other PCTs are interested to see what we are doing, especially to cut chlamydia," added Ms Meakin.

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Does this sound like a good idea to you? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Sounds like an excellent idea. Have you any tips on how to set this up? I am currently working as a health adviser for the local PCT chlamydia screening and we are always looking for innovative ways to offer screening and access places that under 25-year-olds are likely to visit." - Amanda Townend, Wakefield PCT