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Chlamydia retesting and retest positivity rates: results from a state-wide laboratory data linkage study in Tasmania, 2012-13


Stephens, N and Coleman, D and Shaw, K and O'Sullivan, M and McGregor, A and Cooley, L and Venn, A, Chlamydia retesting and retest positivity rates: results from a state-wide laboratory data linkage study in Tasmania, 2012-13, Sexual Health, 14, (3) pp. 261-267. ISSN 1449-8987 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 CSIRO

DOI: doi:10.1071/SH16137


Background: Chlamydia re-infection increases the likelihood of adverse long-term sequelae. Clinical guidelines recommend retesting at 3-12 months for individuals with positive results, to detect re-infections. Retesting and test positivity levels were measured in young people who previously tested positive for chlamydia infection.

Methods: All chlamydia tests conducted during 2012-13 in Tasmanian residents aged 15-29 years were linked. Retesting and retest positivity rates were calculated by sex, age, socioeconomic indicators and test timeframe.

Results: Retesting rates were higher in females than males at 3 months (14.5%, n=242/1673 vs 10%, n=71/721) (P<0.01) and 12 months (27%, 265/968 vs 24%, 98/410) (P=0.24). The retesting rate was higher in females living in areas of most disadvantage (35.5%, 154/434) compared with areas of middle and least disadvantage (26% 139/534) (P<0.01). Males were more likely than females to retest positive at 3 months (35%, 25/71 vs 23%, 55/242) (P<0.01); retest positivity at 12 months was 32% in both sexes (males 98/140; females 265/968). Retest positivity was higher in males living in areas of least disadvantage (43%, 3/7) compared with middle (24%, 16/67) (P=0.27) and most (27%, 10/37) (P=0.09); and higher in females living in areas of least disadvantage (39%, 7/18) compared with middle (24%, 29/121) (P<0.01) and most (31%, 48/154) (P=0.02).

Conclusions: Retesting rates are low in Tasmania and retest positivity is high, reinforcing the importance of promoting safer sex practices, partner notification and treatment, and retesting.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:chlamydia, reinfection, retesting, positivity rates, Tasmania, sexual health
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Stephens, N (Dr Nicola Stephens)
UTAS Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:124262
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2018-02-15
Last Modified:2019-05-21

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