Background Chlamydia is the most common Sexually Transmissible Infection in Australia, with 23,535 notifications for the first quarter of 2015, more than half of which occurring in the 15 to 25 age group. More than 80% of this high risk age group presenting to a general practice at least once annually, however rates of testing are low at 12.5% for females and 3.7% for males. International and Australian studies have suggested pharmacy involvement in testing. Piloting access through Australia’s 5,450 pharmacies is essential to reduce the incidence and long-term consequences of chlamydia through early detection, treatment of asymptomatic infection and contact tracing.
Method A 9-month pilot of a retail self-test kit through 18 community pharmacies in the Brisbane Metro North region of Queensland. Each kit contained a uri swab, instructions, reply post envelope, pathology bag and form, and information on chlamydia. The consumer indicated preferred option for return of results.
Results Of 109 kits purchased, 39.4% were returned for processing, with 16.3% of these returning a reactive result. 18% of returned samples were purchased by consumers under the age of 18, 53.5% between 18 – 29 year and the remainder aged over 30 years. All reactive results were subsequently treated.
Conclusion This presentation will discuss integrating community pharmacy into any comprehensive Australian chlamydia testing program. Pharmacies are already providers of sexual health products, including contraception, pregnancy tests and Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC), where approximately 400,000 units of EHC provided each year. They are well placed for access to Chlamydia testing over extended hours, providing an additional confidential option access Chlamydia testing with the capacity to increase sexual health awareness and de-stigmatise chlamydia screening.
Disclosure of interest statement This pilot was a collaboration of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia QLD Branch and Metro North Hospital and Health Service, funded by Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local.
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