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Chlamyweb Study I: rationale, design and acceptability of an internet-based chlamydia testing intervention


Objectives In recent years, the internet has widely facilitated Chlamydia trachomatis home-sampling. In France (2012), the Chlamyweb Study evaluated an intervention (Chlamyweb) involving home-based self-sampling via the internet. One element of the study consisted of a randomised controlled trial (RCT), which is reported in detail elsewhere. The focus of this paper, however, is on describing the Chlamyweb Intervention and reporting on the non-RCT element of the evaluation of that intervention by the Chlamyweb Study. This involves (1) describing the design and roll-out of the Chlamyweb Intervention, (2) comparing the socio-behavioural profiles of the participants in the intervention with a nationally representative general population sample and (3) examining the factors that influence the acceptance and return of a self-sampling kit supplied to participants in the course of the intervention.

Methods Self-sampling kits were offered to sexually active people aged 18–24 years living on the mainland French. Participants' characteristics were compared with the general population to describe recruited and participant populations. Multivariate analyses by conditional logistic regression were performed to determine factors that were predictors of kit acceptation and use.

Results 7215 people aged 18–24 years were included. Compared with the general population, Chlamyweb reached larger proportions of women, younger people and people with several partners in the previous year. 3372 (46.7%) agreed to receive a self-sampling kit and 2084 (61.8%) returned it, with more women doing so than men. The participation rate was associated with age, place of birth, occupational status, number of partners and condom use, differently for men and women.

Conclusion The offer of easy-to-use, self-sampling kits free of charge appeared to be a logistically feasible strategy for testing in France and reached a large and diverse population including individuals who have limited access to the traditional healthcare system.

Trial registration number AFFSAPS n° IDRCB 0211-A01000-41; pre-results.


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