Chlamydia testing within a Sexual Health Clinic

Chlamydia testing within a Sexual Health Clinic

K. Allison, K. Carrick-Anderson, H. Clery, L. McKay, G. Scott

Healthy Respect GUM, Lauiston Building, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3

9HA, Scotland

Objective: To determine the most effective way of making testing for

chlamydia available in Caledonia Youth (CY), a sexual health clinic for <25 year olds.

Method: A short pilot study carried out among young women attending CY

in 2001 showed that the prevalence of Chlamydia was 11.4%. We then decided to

compare uptake of testing by 2 systems. The first system used Chlamydia postal

testing kits (PTK) developed by the project, that were offered to clients who

attended the clinic. The second system was ‘in-house testing’, where urine

specimens were sent to the laboratory from clients who were already providing a

specimen within their consultation, e.g. a pregnancy test. A treatment clinic

for positive cases was set up on a drop-in basis at CY every Wednesday afternoon,

and was nurse-led using Patient Group Directions (PGD). The study was commenced

in December 2002 and will run until March 2004.

Results: Up to December 2003, 1602 women had been tested, 95% of whom

were aged 13–25. 2,300 PTKs were distributed during this time, of which 594

(26%) were returned. The Chlamydia prevalence by this system was 10.3%. From the

‘in-house’ testing there were 908 young people tested, with a prevalence of


Discussion: Both of these systems were successful in improving access

to Chlamydia testing for young sexually active women at significant risk of

infection. This study has shown that Chlamydia testing is an important component

of this holistic sexual health service.

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