Opportunistic screening for Chlamydia: a pilot study into male perspectives on provision of Chlamydia screening in a UK university

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Abstract

Background

Since 2003, the University of Leeds has been a pilot site for the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP), which offers opportunistic screening to asymptomatic people under the age of 25. Uptake among men is low. The purpose of this study is to explore perceptions and acceptability of the provision of Chlamydia screening in the University of Leeds among 18–25-year-old male students.

Methods

Using a purposive sample of 15 male students aged between 19 and 24, two focus group sessions were conducted within university grounds.

Results

Thematic analysis of the data revealed that male attitudes about Chlamydia screening were affected by: (1) lack of knowledge about Chlamydia and screening; (2) social embarrassment about Chlamydia; (3) reluctance to seek medical help; (4) perception that Chlamydia was a ‘woman's disease’ and (5) indifference about health promotion campaigns.

Conclusion

To encourage the uptake of opportunistic screening of Chlamydia, men under 25 years should be made aware of their responsibility for their own sexual health. Emphasis can also be placed on the non-invasiveness, ease and privacy of the test.

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