Rationale, design, and results of the first screening round of a comprehensive, register-based, Chlamydia screening implementation programme in the Netherlands

Jan E. A. M. van Bergen*, Johannes S. A. Fennema, Ingrid V. F. van den Broek, Elfi E. H. G. Brouwers, Eva M. de Feijter, Christian J. P. A. Hoebe, Rik H. Koekenbier, Eline L. M. Op de Coul, Sander M. van Ravesteijn, Hannelore M. Gotz

*Corresponding author for this work

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Implementing Chlamydia trachomatis screening in the Netherlands has been a point of debate for several years. The National Health Council advised against implementing nationwide screening until additional data collected from a pilot project in 2003 suggested that screening by risk profiles could be effective. A continuous increase in infections recorded in the national surveillance database affirmed the need for a more active approach. Here, we describe the rationale, design, and implementation of a Chlamydia screening demonstration programme.A systematic, selective, internet-based Chlamydia screening programme started in April 2008. Letters are sent annually to all 16 to 29-year-old residents of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and selected municipalities of South Limburg. The letters invite sexually active persons to login to http://www.chlamydiatest.nl with a personal code and to request a test kit. In the lower prevalence area of South Limburg, test kits can only be requested if the internet-based risk assessment exceeds a predefined value.We sent invitations to 261,025 people in the first round. One-fifth of the invitees requested a test kit, of whom 80% sent in a sample for testing. The overall positivity rate was 4.2%.This programme advances Chlamydia control activities in the Netherlands. Insight into the feasibility, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and impact of this large-scale screening programme will determine whether the programme will be implemented nationally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2010

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