Changing screening strategies for genital chlamydia in family planning clinics: A good public health strategy?

Ian Simms*, J. Hopwood, H. Mallinson, P. Rogers, A. Webb

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To estimate the prevalence and factors associated with genital chlamydia in 1996 and to evaluate the introduction of restricted screening criteria based on diagnostic testing and prevention of iatrogenic pelvic inflammatory disease in 1997. Patients: Women attending Liverpool family planning clinics. Method: Clinical and demographic data were recorded at routine clinic consultations. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. Results: In 1996, a 5.7% (123/2165) chlamydial prevalence was detected. A significantly lower prevalence was observed in the over-25-year- old age group compared to those aged 16-19 years old (p < 0.0001), and in those with an interval of over 11 months since the last new sexual partner compared to those with a new partner in the past 1-3 months (p < 0.05). A significantly higher prevalence was detected in those only presenting with signs of infection alone compared to those presenting with either symptoms or both signs and symptoms of infection (p < 0.05). Those requesting a termination of pregnancy were at higher risk of genital chlamydia than those attending for contraceptive advice (odds ratio 1.97; 95% confidence interval 1.14-3.39). Using the restricted screening criteria, prevalences of 5.4% (78/1438) and 3.7% (60/1641) were found for 1996 and 1997, respectively. Prevalences were significantly higher in 1996 than 1997 when adjusted for the other factors (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The study raised awareness of genital chlamydia among women attending family planning clinics and showed that primary care could make a significant contribution to the prevention of chlamydial infection. It is only by initiating intervention strategies in such settings that genital chlamydia will be controlled effectively in the UK.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-95
    Number of pages5
    JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Chlamydia trachomatis
    • Family planning clinics
    • Screening


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