Free sexual health aid scheme loses Lincoln funding

A free sexual health screening service has been stopped in Lincoln after they lost funding from the NHS.

The ‘FreeTest.me’ service, provided sexual health aid to young people aged 16 to 24, by posting free testing kits to their homes.

Many people across the city used the confidential service instead of going to a clinic to get tested because they experience paranoia that they may be shamed.

The organisation offers a confidential service by post

Young adults said they valued the service because it was more convenient  than walking in and making an appointment.

Chelsea Everett, 22, from Gainsborough said: “I went to the clinic once to get my regular check-up I felt like the nurse was belittling me and making me feel ashamed for being there”

“People will feel embarrassed and ashamed to go and get a simple check up at the clinic. The free tests were a way that you could safely get checked in the privacy of your own home and still get the same results.”

Freetestme.com have been posting Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea  testing kits to young people since 2008 saving some people the embarrassment of going into a clinic.

It has led people behind the service to worry  that it may have a negative effect on teenagers’ sexual health in Lincoln.

The service provided sexual health aid to people aged 16-24

Tim Alston, spokesman for the service said: “Our freetest.me service contributed quite significantly to local screening activity.”

“The most recent data… shows that we contributed 30% of all 16-24 chlamydia screening, and over 32% of the chlamydia diagnoses made.

Mr Alston said that last month over 2,000 people from Lincolnshire visited the site to request a tester kit. Over 700 of whom were from Lincoln.

From now on young people in the city will either have to go to a walk-in clinic or pay upwards of £17 per test if they prefer to do it from home.

The NHS in Lincolnshire are yet to comment on the funding cuts.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *