Young, male, and infected: the forgotten victims of chlamydia in primary care

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Objectives:To identify current levels of testing men for chlamydia and establish levels of knowledge relating to chlamydia infection among practice nurses in primary care in one north Wales local area health group (LHG) as part of a study to improve delivery of sexual health services in primary care.Methods:Anonymous confidential self completed postal questionnaires were sent to 46 practice nurses employed at 22 GP practices within one north Wales LHG. On return of the questionnaires and analysis of the data using SPSS, semistructured interviews with seven practice nurses were undertaken.Results:Responses were obtained from 33/46 (71.7%) practice nurses. The majority, 30 (90.9%), do not examine male genitalia and 18 (54.5%) have never tested male patients for chlamydia infection. 28 (84.8%) practice nurses do not consider contact tracing as part of their role.Conclusions:Primary care has a pivotal part to play in reducing prevalence of chlamydia. The paucity of male testing for chlamydia and a lack of consistent uniform testing and contact tracing in primary care has implications for the prevalence and long term consequences of infection. There is scope to greatly increase male testing for chlamydia both for those presenting with signs and symptoms of infection and those asymptomatic. This cannot be achieved without both educational and financial support for practice nurses.

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