New figures released by local health bosses in England have shown that the Chlamydia screening program has failed to reach its target of testing 17% of 15–24 year olds. Chlamydia is now the UK’s most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), with over 120,000 new cases diagnosed last year.

The government’s target for Chlamydia screening is 17%, but in some areas as little as 5% of young people were tested; this is far below the 35% many health experts predict is needed to prevent the disease from spreading.

This is the second year in a row that local health trusts have failed to meet the 17% target, and it is now estimated that up to one in ten 15-24 year olds has the disease, double that of a decade ago.

Simon Blake from the sexual health charity Brook said that the new screening figures were unsatisfactory, stating that: “We’re really worried about Chlamydia, if you only test 14% of young people, even if they are treated, the chances are there will be re-infection throughout the population. So we have to get 35% tested to get it under control.”

Anyone who has any symptoms of Chlamydia or feels that they may have contracted the disease is urged to take a STD test straight away.

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