Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK. 1 in 14 young people are already infected. In 2014, 138,000 young people aged 15-24 were diagnosed with Chlamydia.
It can be passed on easily from one person to another through unprotected sex (sex without a condom).
You can also catch Chlamydia through contact with sexual fluid (such as semen and vaginal fluid) or through any genital contact even if there is no penetration, orgasm or ejaculation.
Most people who have Chlamydia don’t notice any symptoms. Research suggests that 50% of men and 70-80% of women don't get symptoms at all with a Chlamydia infection. So you can't tell who has it - or if you have it.
If there are symptoms, they can include pain when you urinate, unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or rectum or, in women, bleeding between periods or after sex.
It is very quick and easy to get tested for Chlamydia. You can get a test from your GP or School Health Nurse. If you don't feel comfortable visiting your GP or School Health Nurse, you can go to your local Contraception and Sexual Health clinic. All these services are free and confidential.
Take Action: Anyone in Oxfordshire aged between 16 and 24 can receive a free Chlamydia testing kit by post. Request one online or or text ‘TEST’ to 81400 . This service is confidential and free.
Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics. You may be given a single dose, or a longer course of antibiotics to take for a week.
If the infection isn't treated, it can sometimes spread to other parts of your body and lead to serious long-term health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility (not being able to have children).
Getting tested is a normal part of starting a relationship which may become sexual. This video from NHS Choices shows how a young couple get tested: