Background Many non-clinical, including sports, settings have been used in an attempt to screen more men for Chlamydia. While feasible there is very little research exploring their acceptability among users of these settings.
Objective We explored the acceptability of, and the best way to deliver, Chlamydia screening in soccer clubs among young men who play amateur soccer.
Methods 18 semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with men aged between 18 and 35 who play soccer in London-based non-professional leagues. Interviews were carried out from October to December 2011 and analysed using a framework approach.
Results Soccer clubs are acceptable venues to access Chlamydia screening because they offer several potential benefits over screening in traditional settings. Importantly they are discreet testing venues and allow screening to take place within the context of normal daily routines. Having testing kits handed out to all team members by a senior member of the club (captain/coach/manager) or a visiting health care professional (HCP) meant that no one would feel singled out for testing and overcome barriers to asking for, or collecting a kit from central collection points. While some men preferred to use the test kit there and then and return samples to a collection point at the club, others preferred to use kits at home and return samples to the laboratory by post. However, concerns about confidentiality and test tampering meant that some men favoured a visiting HCP to coordinate testing rather than a member of the club.
Conclusion Soccer clubs appear to be acceptable venues for young men who play soccer to access self-collected testing kits for Chlamydia. Processes for accessing, using and returning test kits should be discreet, easy and quick. We will be developing testing pathways in soccer clubs to pilot in six London clubs during the 2012–2013 season.