Factors associated with Chlamydia trachomatis testing in a high school based screening and previously in clinical practice: a cross-sectional study
High school based chlamydia screening has been shown to increase uptake and detect hidden infections among sexually active adolescents. Our study aimed to: i) examine the proportions of 15–20 year-olds tested in a high school based screening and previously in clinical practice, ii) determine chlamydia prevalence according to testing pattern, and iii) examine factors associated with testing in the two settings. A population based cross-sectional study was conducted in 5 high schools in Norway in 2009, using web-questionnaires and Chlamydia trachomatis PCR in first-void urine (800 girls/818 boys, mean age 17.2 years). Only sexually active participants at risk for chlamydia infections were included in the analyses. Crude and multivariable logistic regression models were applied with ‘clinic based testing’ and ‘school based screening’ as outcome variables. 56% of girls and 21% of boys reported previous clinic based testing. In the school based screening, 93% were tested with no gender difference. 42% of girls and 74% of boys were tested for the first time at school (‘school-only test’). Both girls with clinic based testing and girls with school-only test had high chlamydia prevalence (7.3% vs 7.2%). Boys with clinic based testing had twice the prevalence of those with school-only test (6.2% vs 3.0%, p = 0.01). Half of infections were detected in participants with school-only test. One-fifth were repeat infections. In multivariable analysis of girls and boys combined, female gender, older age, early sexual debut, no condom use at first and last intercourse, steady relationship, and higher number of lifetime partners increased the odds of clinic based testing. The odds of school based screening increased with male gender, academic affiliation, later sexual debut, condom use at first intercourse, and current urogenital symptoms in multivariable analysis. More than half the girls had been tested prior to the school based screening and had high prevalence independent of previous clinic based testing. School screening was mostly associated with factors unknown to increase chlamydia infection risk, while clinic based testing was associated with traditional risk factors. The unusually high and equal participation between genders and the detection of a large chlamydia reservoir confirms the value of school based screening suggesting this approach to be further explored in Norway.
This article is part of Kirsten M. Gravningen's doctoral thesis, available in Munin at http://hdl.handle.net/10037/5649
CitationBMC Infectious Diseases (2013), vol. 13:361
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