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Don't get Chlamydia this Christmas

Press release issued: 7 December 2001

Don't get Chlamydia this Christmas

A major study to tackle the world's commonest sexually transmitted bacterial infection was launched in Bristol earlier this year. General practices in Nailsea, Backwell, Shirehampton, Cadbury Heath, Montpelier and St George are to be included in the study now or in the New Year and researchers at Bristol University would like residents to take part.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that costs the NHS about £100 million a year in treatment costs associated with infections in men and women and long-term complications including ectopic pregnancy, tubal infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.

If detected early, Chlamydia can be simply and effectively treated with antibiotics. However, most women and many men with Chlamydia have no symptoms. Chlamydial infection therefore continues to be passed on from person to person, unrecognised and untreated.

The NHS is funding the Chlamydia Screening Studies (ClaSS) project to find out how common Chlamydia is and how best to manage it. Researchers at the universities of Bristol and Birmingham and the Public Health Laboratory Service are conducting this study over the next two years in 27 general practices, including Nailsea, Backwell, Shirehampton, Cadbury Heath, Montpelier and St George.

Patients registered with these practices have been selected to take part completely at random and will shortly receive a study pack with information about Chlamydia and the study, a short questionnaire and containers for providing specimens for testing. Participants can take their specimens at home and simply post them to the laboratory for testing. All participants testing positive for Chlamydia will be given free treatment at the surgery.

Other parts of the study are investigating the best way to trace and treat sexual contacts, the best laboratory test, the emotional impact of screening and the economic costs.

Dr Nicola Low, Lecturer in Public Health Medicine at Bristol University, said: 'We hope that people won't feel embarrassed about sending us a urine specimen or a swab. To get an accurate picture of how common Chlamydia is and how best to manage it we need as many people as possible to take part in the study even if they do not think they have the infection.

'All information is treated confidentially and the results will help the NHS to improve sexual health throughout the country. If you receive a pack, please take part.'

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Friday, 07-Dec-2001 13:09:27 GMT

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