Zara Aziz: Selling chlamydia testing kits in school

Over the weeks and months of electioneering, we have heard little in the way of promises for young people from any political party. What about increasing opportunities for young people, reducing health inequalities, keeping them safe?

I spent the lunchtime making some urgent child and adolescent mental health services referrals for children, and it was late in the afternoon when I left for a home visit in an unfamiliar part of town.

The sun was out and an ice cream man was selling lollies to a herd of little children across the road. I negotiated my way through the recycling and towards the keypad at the side of the door. I looked around, carefully checking that nobody was near before quickly keying in the numbers.

'I'll watch your car,' said a voice behind me and I turned to see a teenager loitering on the footpath. He was perched on a skateboard with his hands poised to spray some graffiti on the fence, which already boasted 'Banksy woz ere' in bold letters.

'That's very kind of you,' I said, turning around to smile at him. Obviously, my first impressions were misplaced - he was not up to no good, after all.

'For a fiver,' he added.

'Sorry, but I've no money on me. My kids took the last bit of cash I had this morning for their snacks. How about some free medical advice instead?' I suggested.

He seemed to think this over.

'Do you have any chlamydia kits?' he finally enquired after some consideration.

I eyed him up and down. He looked about 15.

'How old are you?' I asked suspiciously.

'I'm 14 next week,' he said and grinned widely.

'No way! You are not in the 15-25 age group to dispense chlamydia kits, let alone even know about chlamydia.'

'Oh yeah, I forgot that nobody gets chlamydia outside the range,' he said, looking at me in mock horror. 'Actually, they're not for me; I was going to sell them at school,' he added.

'Even worse. Definitely not!' I shook my head and made my way inside, leaving my car and the aspiring entrepreneur in the hands of the gods.

  • Dr Aziz is a GP partner in north-east Bristol.

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