Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Everyone clap...

There are some things that festivals are famous for - in Glastonbury's case it's got to be the Pyramid, those flags near the Jazz stage, Michael Eavis, copious amounts of mud and a bare-foot Jo Whiley fawning over the flavour-of-the-month indie-band in the BBC's backstage compound.

There are things that you'll simply /have/ to do. You'll spend Thursday pouring over that little guide thingy The Guardian give out and plotting out your weekend - the bands you have to see, weighing up Kasabian over Pendulum and if you think you can make it to Other Stage in time to catch the end of one act or another. Where you're going to eat, how far away the toilets are and if you'll be able to find your tent in the middle of the night, after you've drank 2 litres of pear cider out of a plastic bottle. You'll wander up to the Green Fields in the hope of seeing some naked hippies, to the Park to say that you saw some band or another play at Glastonbury before they were famous. You'll buy a stupid wizard hat and an oh-so-ironic t-shirt. You'll get tested for an STD.

..No, seriously.

For some reason the good folk at the NHS have decided that Glastonbury Festival is an ideal time and place to offer Chlamydia testing - because, well.. why not? It is Glastonbury after all. And why wouldn't you want to complicate your festival toilet experience further by trying to pee into a plastic test-tube and carrying it around in your pocket for a little while?

Hoping to tempt you into one of six screening points at the festival, since the promise of finding out if your bits are diseased just might not cut it, there's a bribe of a a free glow-in-the-dark sperm key ring or glow-in-the-dark condom - which are no-doubt destined to be blown up and tossed around the crowd when people realise that five days in a tent and using only baby-wipes to clean themselves doesn't really lend itself terribly well to making whoopee.

Here's the science part. Concentrate.

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world with one in 12 sexually active 15 – 24 yr olds in the UK testing positive.

Unfortunately, the disease has no symptoms in 70% of women and 50% of men, so they may not even know they have it. If left untreated Chlamydia can cause major infertility problems for women and men.

The testing service is completely free, confidential and easy and so are the test results and you can choose how to receive your result - a discreet message by text - ("sry, uv got d clap") or email, a letter or by phone. For those testing positive the treatment is simple and painless – just four antibiotic tablets taken at once.

And if you don't get around to getting tested at the Festival, you can still order a free Chlamydia testing kit from www.somerset.nhs.uk/checkitout


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