Resort tests teenagers for STD

Teenagers in a seaside town will be tested for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia and given keyring condom holders when they visit the beach in a campaign announced today.

Sexual health youth workers hope to stop the 13- to 19-year-olds from having sex too young in Bournemouth, Dorset.

They will screen them for chlamydia and hand out keyring condom holders bearing the campaign slogan R U Sure Ur Really Ready? aboard a youth club bus on the seafront.

Chlamydia is known as the silent epidemic and can have serious effects including infertility in women and painful, swollen testicles in men.

The campaign also aims to cut teenage pregnancies, which figures show were in decline in Bournemouth from the end of 2007 to early 2008.

There were 37 conceptions amongst girls aged 15 to 17 between October to December 2007, compared with 25 conceptions from January to March 2008.

Urbie (Urban Rural Bus Information and Education), which has internet, television and DVD facilities, will be on the seafront every Friday night throughout August, starting tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Tim Fewell, strategic lead for the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in Bournemouth, said: "This proactive campaign is very much focused on the idea of building relationships and encouraging young people to delay sexual activity until they are ready.

"It is also extremely important that we are realistic and where young people are having sexual contact, we need to ensure that they know about contraception, have access to quality information and an understanding of the consequences so they can make educated choices."

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