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Exploration of testing practices and population characteristics support an increase in chlamydia positivity in Tasmania between 2001 and 2010

Citation

Stephens, N and Coleman, D and Shaw, K and O'Sullivan, M and Vally, H and Venn, A, Exploration of testing practices and population characteristics support an increase in chlamydia positivity in Tasmania between 2001 and 2010, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40, (4) pp. 362-7. ISSN 1753-6405 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Public Health Association of Australia

DOI: doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12502

Abstract

Objective: The proportion of positive chlamydia tests in young people in Tasmania increased significantly between 2001 and 2010. While female positivity rates increased steadily, male positivity rose steeply to 2005 then stabilised. Crude positivity rates can be influenced by a variety of factors making interpretation difficult. Unique Tasmanian datasets were used to explore whether symptom status, reason for testing or sexual exposure could explain the observed positivity trends.

Methods: Population-level chlamydia positivity rates in Tasmania over a 10-year period were compared with surveillance data collected on people aged 15 to 29 years notified with chlamydia.

Results: The proportion of asymptomatic chlamydia cases increased, with the largest increase in males aged 15 to 19 years (28%). Opportunistic testing of cases increased (greatest in males, range 17-32%). Sexual exposure remained consistent.

Conclusions: After allowing for any changes in sexual exposure, symptom status and reason for testing, an increase in chlamydia positivity occurred over the 10 years. Healthcare providers have increased chlamydia testing in high-risk groups.

Implications: Monitoring chlamydia testing patterns and positivity rates at a population level is a step forward in surveillance practices. Targeted surveys provide valuable information to supplement routine surveillance data.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:chlamydia positivity, population level, public health surveillance, symptom status, testing practices
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Epidemiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)
Objective Field:Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response)
Author:Stephens, N (Ms Nicola Stephens)
Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:105475
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2016-01-05
Last Modified:2016-11-16
Downloads:0

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