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Chlamydia trachomatis screening in young people in Merseyside
  1. Jane Harvey, BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MFFP, Clinical Medical Officer1,
  2. Anne Webb, MFFP, MRCOG, MRCGP, Consultant in Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care1 and
  3. Harry Mallinson, PhD, Principal Microbiologist2
  1. Central Abacus, Liverpool, UK
  2. Public Health Laboratory – North West, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence Jane Harvey, Clinical Medical Officer, Central Abacus, 40–46 Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 5SF. Tel: 0151 284 2500, Fax: 0151 293 2005

Abstract

Objectives To evaluate the acceptability to young people of proactive Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) information and urine test. To discover the extent of CT infection and the practical implications for completing treatment and partner notification.

Design Prospective screening with sexual health questionnaire.

Setting Three family planning clinics for young people in Liverpool and South Sefton.

Participants Nine hundred and five women and 53 men had urine tests and answered the questionnaire. All aged 20 years or under attending the clinics were given information about CT and safer sex.

Main outcome measures The acceptability of proactive information and screening for CT using a urine test. Prevalence of CT infection. The time and effort incurred informing and managing those testing positive.

Results The information and urine test were readily accepted. Prevalence of CT was 8.5% in women and 5.7% in men. More than three-quarters of those testing positive were treated, but it took much time and effort, as follow-up attendance was poor.

Conclusions The prevalence of CT was high in this population. Young people participated in screening readily. They are interested in this health issue, but it was difficult to hold their attention long enough to complete the process of treatment and contact tracing. Completing this successfully either needs a huge input of resources or a new approach. These results have led to the piloting of an outreach health adviser administering treatment and carrying out partner notification at the screening site. Some of the questions raised by the CMO have been addressed.

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