Home-based chlamydia testing of young people attending a music festival - who will pee and post?

Sacks-Davis, Rachel; Gold, Judy; Aitken, Campbell K.; Hellard, Margaret E.
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p376
Academic Journal
Background: Chlamydia is most common among young people, but only a small proportion of Australian young people are tested annually. Home-based chlamydia testing has been piloted in several countries to increase testing rates, but uptake has been low. We aimed to identify predictors of uptake of home-based chlamydia testing to inform future testing programs. Methods: We offered home-based chlamydia testing kits to participants in a sexual behaviour cross-sectional survey conducted at a music festival in Melbourne, Australia. Those who consented received a testing kit and were asked to return their urine or vaginal swab sample via post. Results: Nine hundred and two sexually active music festival attendees aged 16-29 completed the survey; 313 (35%) opted to receive chlamydia testing kits, and 67 of 313 (21%) returned a specimen for testing. One participant was infected with chlamydia (1% prevalence). Independent predictors of consenting to receive a testing kit included older age, knowing that chlamydia can make women infertile, reporting more than three lifetime sexual partners and inconsistent condom use. Independent predictors of returning a sample to the laboratory included knowing that chlamydia can be asymptomatic, not having had an STI test in the past six months and not living with parents. Conclusions: A low proportion of participants returned their chlamydia test, suggesting that this model is not ideal for reaching young people. Home-based chlamydia testing is most attractive to those who report engaging in sexual risk behaviours and are aware of the often asymptomatic nature and potential sequelae of chlamydia infection.


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