Young men targeted with safe sex message

NHS Lothian is harnessing the internet to connect with young men in the fight against sexually-transmitted infections.
A new video has been uploaded to the NHS Lothian website to encourage young men, aged between 16 and 19, to use postal testing kits to check whether or not they may have chlamydia, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections.
The video includes a demonstration of how to use the postal kits, which are a proven way of taking the potential embarrassment out of seeking help or advice on sexual health.
The postal testing kits, pioneered in Lothian, are now being made available in four other health board areas after proving popular with young people.
They can be picked up from non-health or medical locations where young people go – such as drop in centres for young people.  Sexual Health Awareness week began on Monday, the 6th of August.
New research has shown that getting tested by post – rather than accessing a test through attending a genitourinary medicine clinic – is a popular option for young men.
Dr Anna Glasier, Lead Clinician, Sexual Health, NHS Lothian, said:


”We know that men are less likely to use health services, so we are trying to raise awareness of Chlamydia infection in at risk groups.  We also know that the internet is a good way to reach young men to promote the benefits of postal testing kits, which are already popular with men.”


She added:
 “Many young people like the fact that they can pick up the postal testing kits without any hassle and without having to be seen by a healthcare worker.  They also know that if they need treatment it will be provided quickly by local healthcare staff”.


A study of chlamydia testing among just under 4,500 young people in Lothian, recently published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Healthcare, showed that postal testing kits were the main testing source for young men (80.2% of men tested used the postal kits rather than go to clinics).
The guide to using the kits is available for viewing at
NHS Lothian works in partnership with a wide range of organisations to provide sexual health services for the people of Lothian.