Health accolade for online program
The online chlamydia testing program received the ‘Excellence in Prevention, Promotion and Early Intervention Award’ at the WA Health Awards in November last year.
Chlamydia is the most commonly notified disease in Australia and 84% of notifications in Western Australia in 2010 occurred in people aged under 30 years.
The online testing program was developed to increase young people’s access to chlamydia testing by allowing participants to be tested for chlamydia without visiting a doctor.
Launched in February 2010, the program is funded by the Communicable Disease Control Directorate and supported by the B2 Clinic at Fremantle Hospital.
Program participants complete an online risk self-assessment which generates a downloadable laboratory request form. They then present to a Pathwest laboratory with the form and submit a urine sample or self-obtained lower vaginal swab for chlamydia testing.
Participants also receive education, referral for treatment and the opportunity to complete an online satisfaction survey. More than half (56%) of the 675 pathology forms downloaded resulted in a test and chlamydia was detected in 18% of those tested.
The majority of tests were undertaken for males (55%) and people younger than 30 years (71%). All participants with a positive test result underwent appropriate clinical management. Half were treated within 7 days of specimen collection. Participant satisfaction with the program was high with 98% saying they would recommend the service to a friend.
The online program demonstrates that internet-based screening for chlamydia is an effective means of increasing access to testing among young people at risk of STIs and is a valuable addition to opportunistic, clinic-based strategies.
See couldihaveit.com.au (external site) for more information.