Hands and feet

September 2009

Research

Opportunistic screening for chlamydia in young men

Volume 38, No.9, September 2009 Pages 734-737

Dana Hince

Tom Brett

Donna B Mak

Max Bulsara

Robert Moorhead

Diane Arnold-Reed

Background

Information on prevalence of genital Chlamydia trachomatis in young men attending Australian general practices is scarce.

Objective/s

We aimed to estimate the prevalence of chlamydia in this group; establish behaviours associated with infection, and evaluate general practitioner follow up of positive cases.

Methods

Sexually active men (aged 15–29 years) attending 10 general practices in Perth, Western Australia, were tested for chlamydia and completed a self report questionnaire concerning sexual practices and symptoms.

Results

Prevalence of chlamydia was 3.7% (95% CI: 2–6%, n=14/383). High rates of risky sexual practices were observed in both chlamydia positive and negative participants. The association between chlamydia status and risky sexual practices however, was not statistically significant. Treatment and notification of positive cases were usually undertaken, but GPs did not always check that patients had contacted sexual partners.

Conclusion

We found little relationship between reported sexual behaviour and chlamydia infection in young men. It may be appropriate to offer screening to all at risk individuals.

Genital Chlamydia trachomatis notification rates in Australia have almost trebled from 88.5 to 249.3 per 100 000 between 2000–2007, with approximately 40% of notifications in 2007 for men.1 Australian notification rates for the disease are highest in the young adult population (males and females aged 20–29 years)1,2 with males generally slightly older than females supporting United Kingdom data of a peak for females aged 16–19 years and males 20–24 years.3 Screening for chlamydia in Australia has predominantly targeted young women, and the failure to detect and treat infection in men may counteract any gains in attempts to control the disease.4

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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