Opportunistic screening for Chlamydia trachomatis: establishing the national chlamydia screening programme in England

D.S. LaMontagne on behalf of the Chlamydia Advisory Group

Health Protection Agency, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre and National Chlamydia Screening Programme, London, UK

Background: The evidence for the potential damage from untreated genital chlamydial infection in women is strong. Epidemiologic studies have found high levels of asymptomatic infection among women and men. Local communities, regional health authorities, and national governments have developed a range of screening initiatives targeting this important sexual health and public health issue. These screening programmes have been shown to be effective at reducing the sequelae from and prevalence of this infection. The Chief Medical Officer’s Expert Advisory Group on Chlamydia trachomatis concluded that opportunistic screening of those at highest risk met the necessary criteria for public health intervention.

Objectives: This presentation will review the evidence for screening, describe approaches used in a variety of locations and settings, review the development of the Department of Health-funded national Chlamydia Screening Programme in England, outline the components of the national programme, and present key findings of the programme’s impact in contraceptive services.