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Get tested for an STD and win an iPod

The chlamydia epidemic is apparently so severe in the U.K. that local health authorities are offering iPods and laptops as incentives for young people to get tested.

Sex is wasted on the young. Or was that youth? I can't quite remember.

In any case, the youth of the United Kingdom seem to be so keen on unprotected sex that local health authorities are offering various tech gadgets as incentives for STD testing.

According to the Daily Mail, medical professionals believe that 10 percent of those between the ages of 16 and 24 in the U.K. have chlamydia, a nasty bacterial infection that appears to be spreading faster than foreclosures.

The big problem with chlamydia is that it doesn't generally come with sores, cankers, or pain. This means that sufferers can carry it for many years entirely undetected.

Please, please be careful. Or win an iPod! CC Steve Punter/Flickr

Local health authorities are therefore attempting to bribe callow youths into their clinics in order to be tested.

And what better way to bribe them than with gadgets?

If you commit to an inspection in Camden, North London, you could win an iPod.

In Northamptonshire, your prize could be a Nintendo Wii.

Whereas in Nottinghamshire, they really feel the need to offer something more meaningful to counteract the after-effects of a night of meaningless sex. Yes, you could be the proud owner of a Fujitsu laptop.

If caught early, chlamydia can be treated with a relatively straightforward course of antibiotics. However, if it is allowed to take up long-term residence, it can lead to infertility and other problems.

Of course, any number of tech incentives cannot substitute for something rather more simple--a little education.

"Unless you change primary behavior and you teach the young that the only safe sex you can have is with someone you know well enough to trust, then treatment is just a sticking plaster solution," Dr. Trevor Stammers, a spokesman for the Family Education Trust told the Mail.

Still, it's heartening to know that iPods and Wiis are doing their little bit to help young Brits not pay too high a price for their undisciplined ways. I blame the colonial heritage.