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Useful adjuncts to a more general population chlamydia screening programme
Where should chlamydia screening be done? Who should be screened? How do we engage young men and vulnerable groups? How do we increase the uptake? Can the internet help? As a timely response to a recent call for innovative ways to encourage chlamydia screening in young people,1 we publish two papers (pp 142 and 148) and a commentary (p 152) tackling some of these issues.
Götz et al’s pilot study in Rotterdam examined ways of encouraging chlamydia screening among African Caribbeans from Surinam and the Antilles (see p 148). In a previous population based study this group was at higher risk of infection than white Dutch people,2 but less likely to respond to a postal invitation to provide home collected specimens for chlamydia testing.3 In this study, urine collection kits were offered by street outreach workers, or public health nurses providing sex education in vocational training schools. Participants could provide a specimen on site, or take a kit home with them. In the school and group settings uptake among the minority ethnic group was higher than in the postal intervention.3 The positivity rate in female vocational training school students was extremely high (27.9%, 95% CI 16.7% to 42.6%).
In contrast with targeting specific groups and settings, Novak and Karlsson set up an internet website to promote chlamydia testing to the whole adult population in one Swedish county (see p 142). Visitors to the site could request …
Competing interest: Nicola Low is conducting a rapid review of evidence for the effectiveness of chlamydia screening, which will contribute to the NICE public health guidance.