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An increase in national chlamydia testing rates coinciding with a national STI campaign: Use of data collected in the ACCESS Laboratory Network

An increase in national chlamydia testing rates coinciding with a national STI campaign: Use of data collected in the ACCESS Laboratory Network

The Australian Collaboration for Coordinated Enhanced Sentinel Surveillance for STIs and BBVs (ACCESS) can help to evaluate the impact of public health interventions. The Laboratory Network, one of four ACCESS networks, collects testing and positivity data from laboratories across Australia. We explore chlamydia testing data to investigate if the National Sexually Transmissible Infections Prevention Program (NSTIPP) campaign, implemented nationally between May 2009 and November 2011, coincided with changes in population-level age-specific chlamydia testing rates in the target population (young people aged 15 to 29 years).

Methods: Testing data from laboratories participating in the ACCESS Laboratory Network (n=13) from five jurisdictions (NSW, VIC, SA, TAS and QLD) for 2008-2010 were extracted electronically using GRHANITE® software. Age-specific testing rates (tests per 100,000 population) were calculated using the ABS-projected population for each year in participating for individuals aged 15-75 years.

Results: The overall (15-75 years) testing rate (per 100,000 population) in 2008, 2009 and 2010 was 1046, 1322 and 1181, respectively. When stratified, the testing rate increased by 26% between 2008-2009; the largest increase in testing rate from 2008 to 2009 was observed in individuals aged 50-54 years (97% increase) rather than in the campaign target population (11% increase). The overall testing rate decreased by 12% for all age groups between 2009-2010, however the decrease was lower among individuals aged 15-29 years (7% decrease) .

Conclusion: Data showed that there was an increase in testing rates that coincided with the year the NSTIPP campaign was launched, however the largest increase was in older age groups rather than the target ages and changes in testing behavior were not sustained in 2010. These findings demonstrate the utility of the ACCESS Laboratory Network to measure population level changes in behavior following a national campaign such as the NSTIPP.

Areas of Interest / Categories: Australian Society for HIV 2015

Australian Society for HIV 2015

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