Chlamydia sentinel surveillance in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services finds higher testing and positivity rates among younger people

Authors


  • On behalf of the Australian Collaboration for Chlamydia Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance System (ACCESS) Collaborative (contributors are listed under Acknowledgements).

Correspondence to: Ms Jane Goller, Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, 85 Commercial Rd, Melbourne, Victoria 3004; e-mail: jane@burnet.edu.au

Abstract

Objective: To measure chlamydia testing and positivity rates among 16–39 year olds attending Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs).

Methods: Retrospective non-identifiable computerised records containing consultation and chlamydia testing data were collected for patients (16–39 years) attending eight ACCHSs during 2008–09 in urban, regional and remote settings for the Australian Collaboration for Chlamydia Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance (ACCESS) system. Annual chlamydia testing and positivity rates were estimated.

Results: Over two years, 13,809 patients aged 16–39 years (57.8% female, 82.3% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) attended. The annual overall chlamydia testing rate was 13.0% (2008) and 16.0% (2009). Testing rates were higher among females (p<0.001) and among patients aged 16–29 than 30–39 years (males: p=0.01; females: p<0.001). Chlamydia positivity was 8.5% overall; similar in females (8.7%) and males (7.8%) (p=0.46); highest among 16–19 years (females: 17.4%; males: 13.0%), declining to 1.5% among females 35–39 years (p<0.001) and 4.8% among males 30–34 years (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Chlamydia testing at these ACCHSs approached recommended levels among some patient groups, however, it should increase. High positivity among younger people highlights they should be targeted.

Implications: Young people should be targeted for sexual health interventions. ACCHSs are well placed to provide enhanced sexual health services if appropriately resourced.

Ancillary