The extent to which healthcare professionals (HCPs) and young people (YP) are aware of, and adhere to, National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) recommendations on testing frequency is unclear. To address this two cross-sectional surveys in 2015–2016: one among genitourinary medicine (GUM) and non-GUM HCPs (n = 109) and the other among YP attending a GUM clinic in England (n = 195). For both, questions were designed to measure awareness of NCSP guidance and whether respondents acted on that knowledge. This included questions about YP’s most recent test(s) (if ever) and the time since first and last sex with their most recent partners. Knowledge of NCSP testing guidelines varied among both GUM and non-GUM HCP respondents. However, lack of knowledge of the guidelines did not preclude HCPs from recommending testing in line with NCSP recommendations in practice. While most YP were not aware of NCSP recommendations, around two-thirds had tested for Chlamydia at least once in the last year. However, testing seldom appeared to coincide with partnership change. There is a knowledge gap and a discord between testing recommendations and practice. Interventions are needed to encourage appropriate testing patterns to maximise the individual and public health benefits of testing.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank all survey respondents as well as the Genitourinary Medicine Department at The Royal Bolton Hospital, the British Association of Sexual Health & HIV and the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Health for their assistance.
- Chlamydia trachomatis