Young men and Chlamydia Testing
Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections among young people in the UK. Chlamydia often has no symptoms so people who have it do not always know. Different ways of offering Chlamydia testing are available, but novel non-medical approaches such as home collected postal testing kits have been show to be acceptable, particularly to young men.
Lisa McDaid and Karen Lorimer (Glasgow Caledonian University) were awarded funding by the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (CSO) to explore the feasibility of an Internet approach to systematic screening of young heterosexual men for Chlamydia. This qualitative project explores young men’s views of this type of testing and assess the barriers to implementation.
We completed 15 focus group discussions with 60 heterosexual young men from a variety of backgrounds and locations across central Scotland. Telephone interviews have been completed with 10 General Practitioners and 8 Practice Nurses across central Scotland.
A paper exploring young men’s views towards the barriers and facilitators of implementing an Internet-based screening approach has been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Men’s Internet and technology use was varied, with greater use among older men (aged 20-24 years) than teenagers and some deprivation-related differences in use. Confidentiality and privacy concerns were key barriers to the acceptability of an Internet approach, and the young men expressed strong views on acceptable language, style, and content of potential sites. Men wanted screening websites to present testing as a serious issue, rather than using humorous images and text. Interventions using such technology should consider possible differences in uptake by age and socioeconomic background. Young people could be included as co-producers of intervention materials and websites to ensure messages and content are framed appropriately and doing so may help to address the overall lower levels of testing among men compared with women.
Lorimer K, Martin S, McDaid LM. The views of general practitioners and practice nurses towards the barriers and facilitators of proactive, Internet-based Chlamydia screening for reaching young heterosexual men. BMC Family Practice 2014;15:127open access
Lorimer K, McDaid L. Young men’s views towards the barriers and facilitators of Internet-based Chlamydia trachomatis screening: a qualitative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2013;15:e265open access
Lorimer K. Pilot qualitative analysis of the psychosocial factors which drive young people to decline chlamydia testing in the UK: implications for health promotion and screening [commentary]. International Journal of STD & AIDS 2010;21:379pubmed
Lorimer K, Reid ME, Hart G. Willingness of young men and women to be tested for Chlamydia trachomatis in three non-medical settings, in Glasgow, UK. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 2009;35:21-8pubmed