Background Chlamydia testing in general practice may provide opportunities to diagnose those who do not attend sexual health (GUM) clinics. However, as comprehensive STI testing is less likely to be offered in general practice, opportunities could be missed to test, diagnose and treat other STIs including HIV if people at higher sexual risk test in general practice.
Aim To compare demographic, behavioural, and HIV testing characteristics of those tested for chlamydia in general practice with those tested in GUM.
Methods A probability sample survey of the British population undertaken 2010–2012. We analysed weighted data on individuals aged 16–44, reporting at least one sexual partner ever, who reported a chlamydia test in the past year (n = 1583).
Results 26.0% (24.7–27.4) of women and 16.1% (14.9–17.3) of men reported testing for chlamydia in the past year, of whom 41.4% (38.6–44.2) of women and 20.5% (17.4–24.0) of men tested in general practice. Women tested in general practice were more likely to be older, in a relationship, and to live in rural areas. Men and women tested in general practice reported lower STI risk in terms of (past 5 years): partner numbers, same-sex partners, and overlapping partnerships. Those tested in general practice were less likely to report an HIV test (past 5 years).
Discussion/conclusion While those tested for chlamydia in general practice generally reported lower risk behaviours, rural populations were over-represented, and HIV testing was lower. Pathways to comprehensive STI care need to be universally available for higher risk individuals.
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