Study finds high rates of chlamydia among men in rural and regional areas

February 17, 2014
Credit: Wikipedia

(Medical Xpress)—The largest Australian chlamydia study to date, led by the University of Melbourne, has found more men contract chlamydia than previously thought and most cases of infection are being missed.

The pilot study published in the Medical Journal of Australia today detailed prevalence in 4284 patients attending 134 general practices around Australia, via direct questionnaire and chlamydia tests.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Jane Hocking from the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health said the research involved the largest sample of to date and highlighted the need to better monitor rates of chlamydia in men.

"We all know that women must be targeted for chlamydia testing, but our results show there is a lot of chlamydia in men so any chlamydia control intervention must also include men."

"This study is part of a larger trial that is investigating whether annual chlamydia testing in general practice for young men and women is effective at reducing chlamydia prevalence," she said.

Prevalence of chlamydia was 5.2 per cent in men and 4.4 per cent in women. Among men, prevalence was highest in those aged 20-24 years (6.6 per cent) and in women, it was highest in those aged 16-19 years (8.0 per cent).

Nearly three quarters of cases (73 per cent) were diagnosed in asymptomatic patients attending for non-sexual health reasons, such as an annual check up. It was found that prevalence was slightly higher in those living in rural areas and regional areas (4.8 per cent) compared with those living in metropolitan areas (3.1 per cent).

"The study reveals that if GPs just target those presenting with symptoms or for a sexual health related reason (eg: contraception, Pap smear), then most infections will be missed," Associate Professor Hocking said.

"The good news is that the study has shown most men and are amenable to being tested and treated in general practice, even in , and we need to act on these findings."

Related Stories

New Chlamydia test shows type of infection

May 24, 2011

A new Chlamydia test can quickly and easily demonstrate the subtype (serovar) of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis a person is infected with. This has important clinical implications, because some Chlamydia subtypes, that ...

Australia: Biggest jump in HIV in 20 years

October 21, 2013

The number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection in Australia continues to rise, having increased by ten per cent in 2012 to reach 1253, the largest number in 20 years, according to the latest national surveillance reports. ...

STIs and risky sex still an issue

November 26, 2013

New results from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), published in The Lancet, provide a picture of sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence and testing, uptake of sexual health interventions ...

Source of chlamydia reinfections may be GI tract

February 6, 2014

The current standard of care treatment for chlamydia sometimes fails to eradicate the disease, according to a review published ahead of print in Infection and Immunity, and the culprit may be in the gut.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.