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Where have young men been screened for STIs?
  1. Ummer Qadeer,
  2. Pippa Oakeshott,
  3. Roshni Patel,
  4. Azhar Ali,
  5. Magnus Theodorsson,
  6. Preeya Kundasamy
  1. Department of Population Health Sciences and Education, St. George's University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ummer Qadeer, St. George's University of London, London SW17 ORE, UK; m0900794{at}

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In their stratified random probability survey of 411 men aged 18–35 years, Saunders and colleagues found that 29% had been tested for a sexually transmitted infection (STI), mainly in genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics (53%) or general practice (17%).1 In September 2012, for a medical student project, we conducted a questionnaire survey of young men and women at the Lambeth Further Education College in south London. Lambeth is an area with one of the highest rates of STIs in the UK with 9.9% of 15–24-year-olds screened testing positive for chlamydia in 2011–2012.2 Our aim was to find out how many students had been tested for chlamydia in the past year, where they had been tested and why they were tested. To make our findings comparable with Saunders and colleagues1 we focus mainly on results from male respondents.

The response rate was 79% (89/112). The mean age of participants was 23 years (range 16–54) and 67% were male subjects. A total of 59 male responders described their ethnicity as black 55% (comprising black-Caribbean 22%, black-other 17%, black-African 16%), Caucasian 25%, Asian 3% and 14% other ethnicities. Most male responders (80%, 47/59) said they were sexually active, of whom 55% (26/47) reported being tested for chlamydia in the past year. Half of them (50%, 12/24) said they had been tested at a GUM clinic, 17% in general practice, 12.5% at a Brook clinic, 8% at school, 8% at Tooting Bec Lido and 4% at a Walk-in clinic. Reasons for testing (n=22) included ‘for a check-up’ (35%), ‘out of choice’ (50%), ‘one night stand’ (5%), ‘free condoms’ (5%) and ‘unprotected sex’ (5%).

The proportion of young men in our study who were tested in GUM clinics and general practice was similar to results from the national survey by Saunders and colleagues.1 In line with National Chlamydia Screening Programme reports,3 they point out that young men are perceived as hard to reach for STI screening.1 Based on the high rates of reported testing found in our small survey of young, sexually active, mainly black males, we agree there may be potential to increase STI screening rates.


The authors would like to thank Dionne Konstantinious and staff and students at Lambeth College for their help with this research.



  • Funding None.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The protocol, patient information leaflet and questionnaire were reviewed by Dr Phillip Sedgwick, Reader in Statistics and course organiser at St George's, University of London.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.