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Chlamydia screening in young people fails to reduce prevalence

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4736 (Published 13 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4736
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    One in six people under 25 is being screened for chlamydia after six years of a national screening programme in England, which is still below the target needed to reduce its prevalence, a report says this week.

    The report from the National Audit Office, which scrutinises public spending on behalf of parliament, warns that testing levels are only just beginning to reach the point where they are likely to significantly reduce the prevalence of chlamydia. It argues that a lack of central organisation, with the programme being delivered locally by primary care trusts, has resulted in inefficiency and duplication of effort.

    The Department of Health launched a national chlamydia screening programme in 2003, taking an opportunistic approach to contacting people under the age of 25 and testing in various settings, including schools and youth centres as well as NHS centres. Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed …

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