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Norwich among the worst cities for people getting sexual health checks

PUBLISHED: 15:33 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:52 26 March 2019

Around  57pc of people surveyed in Norwich admitted they have never been tested for an STI. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/belchonock

Around 57pc of people surveyed in Norwich admitted they have never been tested for an STI. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/belchonock

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Norwich is among the list of cities that are the worst at getting sexually transmitted infection (STI) checks, according to survey figures.

Some 57pc of people who took part in a Censuswide survey, commissioned by Medicine Direct, admitted they have never had an STI test, making Norwich the 11th worst city for sexual health checks in the country.

Edinburgh is the worst city for STI checks with 76pc of people revealing they have never been tested, followed by Liverpool at 72pc and Glasgow with 67pc.

Of the 86 people in Norwich who were quizzed in the survey on February 6-8 this year, only 12pc said they have been checked in the past 12 months.

The city’s sexual health services are based at GPs practices as well as iCash, but those wishing to be seen at the Oak Street centre via a booked appointment face a long waiting list which could extend to a month.

Queues of up to a dozen people form outside the door before the centre opens at 8.45am, with signs warning patients they may have to wait up to two hours before being seen during sit and wait clinics.

A spokesman said that while waiting times for an appointment “may be longer than ideal”, more than 15,000 people in the county have requested a postal STI testing kit in the past 12 months.

This comes after the clinic seized routine screening for STIs for patients that present with no symptoms.

A recent study revealed that almost 60pc of Brits have never been tested for an STI and a further 12pc have not been tested in more than five years.

Around 35pc of people surveyed in Norwich said they did not believe they were at risk of STIs and about the same number said they were not confident in recognising symptoms.

Some 37pc said they never learnt about STIs and symptoms at school while a fifth who have had some form of education on sexual health rated it as poor or awful.

More than 50,000 people use iCash services every year at its three hubs in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

An iCash spokesman said: “Although there is often a queue before the clinic opens, women who attend sit and wait clinics are usually seen speedily on the day.

“We have worked hard with the commissioners who fund our service to develop innovative options for local people.”

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