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Chlamydia Screening Programme

Genital Chlamydia infection is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) among young people in England. In many cases the infection causes little or no symptoms. The National Chlamydia Screening Programme was launched in 2003 to offer opportunistic testing to all young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old to test for and treat the infection and to treat the sexual partners of people who test positive.

The vision is to reduce the prevalence of Chlamydia through early detection and effective treatment of the infection, which can lead to infertility in men and women, cause ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease. The infection can also be passed from mother to baby during natural delivery and can lead to eye infections and breathing difficulties

Goals of the programme are to:

  • prevent and control Chlamydia through early detection and treatment of asymptomatic infection
  • reduce onward transmission to sexual partners
  • prevent the consequences of untreated infection.

(Quick wins and sustainable services: Hitting the target without missing the point, NCSP, 2008)

Local Targets

The target driven approach to Chlamydia screening has been replaced with an outcome indicator. This shifts the focus of the programme being based on screening numbers, and now sensibly also looks at the number of positive tests. This helps the programme take a more targeted approach to testing young people at greater risk of having the chlamydia infection, and through timely diagnosis and treatment along with contacting partners we can reduce the risk of onward transmission.

Young people aged 16- 24 years are invited to take the test through the use of a self test postal kit which can be obtained by emailing the screening programme at: info@itsbesttotest.nhs.uk Treatment is available to the entire age range through the pharmacy treatment scheme. Kits are also available for young people to collect from a range of venues including:

  • GP surgeries
  • Pharmacies
  • Schools and colleges
  • Youth development services

If you haven’t got screening in your school, for more information and access to testing kits, please use the email address above.