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A prominent theme today is the influence of dynamically changing demographic and sociocultural forces on the spread of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). In most industrialised countries the incidence of classic STDs such as gonorrhoea has been declining rapidly among the educated middle and upper classes.1,2
The aim of this study was to evaluate a gonorrhoea case finding programme which took place in Athens from 1974 to 1998 (25 years).
Patients and methods
The study was approved by the Greek ethics committee.
The gonorrhoea case finding and treatment programme took place between 9 am and 12 noon on 6 days per week between 1 January 1974 and 31 December 1998. People were recruited for examination in “A Syngros” Hospital, Athens, then taken to the same hospital for further investigation and treatment.
Direct microscopy and culture were the mainstay of gonorrhoea diagnosis. Samples could be Gram stained and examined by light microscopy to yield a diagnosis within 5 minutes. Accuracy varied with the site sampled and the experience of the microscopist. If there was a strong likelihood of infection and if presumptive treatment had not been given, a second or even third set of cultures performed on subsequent occasions maximised detection.3
Isolation of gonococci was also improved by the parallel use of selective and non-selective media. In practice, acceptable results were active with moderately selective media. …